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13 September 2023

Geography's summer science outreach: Festivals, podcasts and sustainability

Updates on the Department of Geography’s public science outreach activities over the summer.

Pint of Science 2023, presenting Planet Earth at the Devereux

The Department of Geography continued to actively engage in science outreach over the summer period. Researchers and academics have presented at some of the largest music and public science festivals, connecting the public to the department’s cutting-edge research on climate change, policy, and wildlife.

Making science accessible - King's climate scientist's advice to researchers

Climate expert Dr Tamsin Edwards encouraged colleagues and early career researchers to focus on communicating their research to the public in jargon-free language if they aim to work with the UK Parliament to inform scrutiny, legislation and debate. She was speaking at an online meeting of the UK Universities Climate Network.

Dr Edwards, who is currently working with the UK Parliament as a Thematic Research Lead on Climate and Environment, said that Parliamentary staff often seek to work with academics who are effective at communicating technical research to the public.

This is something that comes up time and time again – communication skills. They [UK Parliament] need academics who can explain what they do to a general audience. They want demonstrable experience of public engagement – through public talks, media interviews, blogs or Twitter.

Dr Tamsin Edwards, Professor in Climate Change


Dr Edwards spoke at Glastonbury Festival, one of the world’s largest music and performing arts festival which took place between 21-25 June in Somerset. She took part in ‘The Free University of Glastonbury’ and on the Laboratory Stage in the ‘Green Futures’ area at the festival where she interacted with the audience, answering their questions on climate change and solutions for the future.

Dr Edwards also spoke at the annual Blue Dot festival, a music, science and culture festival held in Cheshire. She gave a talk titled ‘Hope and Anchor’ in which she explored a new metaphor to consider the dynamics of climate change – holding onto hope for change in the future, whilst also preserving and striving to do better, with research and action taking place.

Pint of Science 2023

Geography academics and PhD students presented at Pint of Science, the largest global science festival which brings scientists to pubs, cafes and other public places to share their research.

At this year’s festival, Geography researchers gave a range of fascinating talks including 'Solarpunk and climate funk: what does the future of climate change look like?' which explored climate policy from behind-the-scenes at COP and re-imagined dystopian climate futures. In 'Postcards from the field', academics and PhD students shared their experiences of discovering the world of research and doing fieldwork.

Geography has been an active contributor to the Pint of Science festival, having previously run screenings and talks on a variety of topics such as plastic grass and marine life conservation in previous years. The festival is an invaluable avenue to demonstrate the impact of science research as it sees participation from a wide range of audience of different age groups.

Proper Geog Pod

To keep the conversations from the Pint of Science festival going, Geography PhD students Toryn Whitehead and Merrill Hopper created and launched a new podcast show called ‘Proper Geog Pod’.

In the show, the hosts catch up with researchers who spoke at the Pint of Science festival this year, giving listeners worldwide a chance to engage with conversations ranging from a behind-the-curtain at COP26 to current research examining African wild dogs in Botswana.

The series is available to listen on Spotify. Follow the podcast on Twitter for updates: @kcl_pebes or @toryn_whitehead.

In this story

Tamsin Edwards

Professor in Climate Change

Merrill Hopper

PhD student


Pint of Science London

More than 180 scientists to appear in nearly 75 events across 25 of the city’s watering holes, as the world's largest festival...