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Audio: Student organizer Jess Scott talks about Focus the Nation

(Editor's Note: Events previously scheduled in the Harvey M. Powers Theatre have been moved to Trout Auditorium.)

LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Bucknell University will join more than 500 colleges and universities across the country on Jan. 31 to discuss global climate change and its potential solutions in a daylong teach-in called Focus the Nation. It is expected to be the largest teach-in in U.S. history.

Bucknell will take a prominent role with faculty and guest speaker discussions and other events spanning the entire day, including a talk by Andrew Revkin, an award-winning science journalist for The New York Times.

"Decisions we will make in the United States over the next few years regarding controls on greenhouse gas emissions and investments in clean, renewable energy solutions will have a profound impact not only on our lives and the lives of our children, but indeed for every future human being," Bucknell President Brian C. Mitchell said in a recent campus-wide e-mail. "As educators, we owe our young people at least one day of focused discussion about these key decisions."

Organizing campus events
Bucknell senior Jess Scott is organizing the campus events and working with the BucknellEnvironmentalCenter to plan and host the wide range of global warming panels.

"Focus the Nation is a national initiative focused on global climate change. Bucknell is going to be highly involved in this event with a full day of activities," she said. "It is imperative that we focus the immense intellectual energy of this country on this problem, not only on Jan. 31, but in the years and months following the event."

Bucknell's Focus the Nation events are scheduled to kick off Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 5 p.m. with a screening of "11th Hour," a climate documentary narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, at the Campus Theatre on Market Street in downtown Lewisburg.

Interdisciplinary discussions
On Thursday, Jan. 31, 12 academic departments will participate in a series of four interdisciplinary discussion panels during regularly scheduled class hours, from 8 to 9:30 a.m., 9:30 to 11 a.m., 1 to 2:30 p.m., and 2:30 to 4 p.m. Each panel will feature four professors from different disciplines speaking on global climate change issues related to their area of expertise. All are open to the public in the Harvey M. Powers Theatre in Coleman Hall.

The discussion panels are titled "Obstacles to change," "Tipping points," "Can we afford NOT to stop global warming?" and "Motivating action."

At Gerhard Fieldhouse, a campus sustainability celebration is planned to include food, music, research posters, and a sustainable business expo from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Elected officials
Several elected officials from Pennsylvania have been invited to participate in a non-partisan, intergenerational discussion about what the state and country are doing about global climate change and how universities can be involved in laying the foundation for environmental decisions. The discussion will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Harvey M. Powers Theatre in Coleman Hall.

The day will conclude with a talk by the Times' Revkin in Trout Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Revkin has reported on environmental issues for more than 25 years.

Read more about the Focus the Nation initiative at

Contact: Office of Communications

Posted Dec. 11, 2007
Updated Jan. 17, 2008


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