2015 - 4th Annual UO Climate Change Research Symposium

Join us for the 4th Annual UO Climate Change Research Symposium - Friday, May 29th, 2015

When: Friday, May 29, 2015

Where: University of Oregon campus, exact location TBD

Climate change is a multi-faceted global crisis. Professors and students in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences examine different facets of this important global challenge. The UO Climate Change Research Symposium brings together individuals whose problem-driven research and works of art transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries. The sharing of perspectives and exchange of ideas will produce a lasting dialogue that will enrich the depth of academic discourse at the University of Oregon.


Sponsored by:

The University of Oregon Climate Change Research Group and the University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History


Keynote Speaker: Riley Dunlap, Oklahoma State University

How Climate Change Became Controversial: An Analysis of the Climate Change Denial Movement

Abstract: Global warming had become widely recognized as a problem by the early 1990s, but a long-term and ever-evolving campaign to deny its reality and significance has turned contemporary climate change into a major controversy. The basic findings of climate science are constantly challenged by a growing set of interconnected actors who portray climate change as uncertain, even a hoax, leading significant segments of the public and numerous policy-makers to dismiss its importance—and thus the need to take action. Key actors in what has been termed the “denial movement,” the economic and ideological interests motivating them, and the primary strategies and tactics they employ will be outlined, with emphasis on how they have all evolved over the past quarter century.

Riley E. Dunlap is Regents Professor and Laurence L. and Georgia Ina Dresser Professor in the Department of Sociology at Oklahoma State University, and previously served as Boeing Distinguished Professor of Environmental Sociology at Washington State University. A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Psychological Association, Dunlap is also Past-President of the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee on Environment and Society. One of the founders of environmental sociology, Dunlap’s recent work has focused on the socio-political controversies surrounding climate change. He chaired the American Sociological Association’s Task Force on Sociology and Global Climate Change, and is senior editor of the forthcoming volume produced by the task force: Society and Climate Change: Sociological Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 2015). His prior books include the Handbook of Environmental Sociology (Greenwood Press, 2002) and Sociological Theory and the Environment (Rowman-Littlefield 2002), both of which he co-edited. Dunlap has received a number of awards for his scholarly work, most recently the William R. Freudenburg Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences in 2012.