New exhibition showcases Newcastle University’s innovative climate change research

Alexander James looks at the new climate-change exhibition featured in the university's Herschel Building.

Alexander James
19th October 2021
Artist Matthew Jarrat and Prof Julie Sanders, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University in the Herschel Building. Photo: John Millard
The new exhibition located in the entrance hall of the Herschel building is an exposition of some of the research projects undertaken by the university to address the impact of climate change and highlight the great number of environmental challenges faced globally. 

The twelve projects on display feature collaborations between the arts and sciences, providing methods to raise issues and communicate ideas, as well as providing practical solutions. Partnerships that are covered in the exhibition work at both the local and global level. To give examples, Fire Complex addresses the increasing occurrence of extreme weather events and natural disasters through post-apocalyptic imagery - where the daunting reality of the 2020 Californian forest fires are brought to urban landscapes through life size billboards and posters. The net-zero GeoRDIE Project highlights research undertaken on the potential for geothermal energy to supplement existing energy sources, using boreholes dug within Newcastle city centre to gather research data.

For any environmentally-concerned student out there, this is not to be missed.

The exhibition is well illustrated; the research aims and project descriptions are concisely represented. The creative and cutting edge responses to environmental challenges are inspiring and give a cause for hope. For any environmentally-concerned student out there, this is not to be missed. Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Julie Sanders, said of the exhibition: “the hugely impressive depth and breadth of subject areas, methods and approaches represented in this brilliant exhibition and publication are an indicator of the fact that work on climate action research and research-based education is a whole university effort at Newcastle”.

In April 2021, Newcastle University announced that their target of achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions has been brought forward by a decade to 2030. Along with the research collaborations represented at the climate change emergency exhibition, the university’s commitment to sustainability suggests it does more than simply recognise the environmental issues facing our world in the twenty-first century, particularly prescient in the run up to the COP26 conference hosted in Glasgow next month. 

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