On Friday, April 26, KO held its annual Stroud Science Symposium. This year’s speaker, Dr. Robert Thorson, delivered a speech with the goal to educate the crowd about the science behind climate change and its many causes using a systematic approach. He was chosen as this year’s Stroud Science Symposium speaker by Upper School science Department Chair Fritz Goodman. “I chose him because I already knew about him, as he had done the symposium before,” Mr. Goodman said. “I have been reading a lot of articles and newspapers about climate change, and how politics and emotions get in the way. So I asked him to speak about the science behind climate change.”
Students were interested in having a speaker talk about something so relevant to today’s society. “I thought it was interesting having someone discuss an issue that affects everyone in the modern day,” junior Spencer Schaller said. “It is something that is so real in the current political climate and the world of science, and having a speaker come to talk about climate change helps show that to students who might not recognize that fact.”
Dr. Thorson focused solely on the scientific aspect of climate change. A professor of geology at UCONN, he used his background to discuss a systems based approach to climate change. “I was happy that he emphasized the systems approach,” Mr. Goodman said. “You can’t focus on one thing, something like carbon dioxide increase. Climate change is a sort of domino effect. I thought his emphasis on the systems approach was important.”
Although there was no time for questions after his talk, students did seem to enjoy this year’s science symposium. “Compared to past symposiums, I thought it was an issue more people would be able to understand and have at least a superficial interest in,” Spencer said. “Other symposiums have been interesting, but have been more niche topics and might not have been as interesting for those listeners not interested in science.”
Thus, Dr. Thorson’s talk had the intended impact: the crowd was able to learn about the science behind climate change, uninhibited by political ideals and emotions.