Wooster Science Cafe begins season with climate, mental health talk

WOOSTER − The spring season of the Wooster Science Café, sponsored by The College of Wooster and The Ohio State University, begins at 7 pm Wednesday at Spoon Market and Deli, 144 W. Liberty St.

Wednesday’s discussion will center around “The Science of Climate Change and its Impact on Mental Health.” Presented by Susan Clayton, Whitmore-Williams professor of psychology at The College of Wooster, and Dan Herms, vice president for research and development at the Davey Tree Expert Co., the talk is the first in the spring series that will take place this semester. to foster conversation and learning about different scientific topics within the Wooster community.

Clayton and Herms will discuss the science behind climate change, along with the impact it has on mental health. As the climate continues to warm, its impacts on the earth are projected to intensify, which, as Clayton describes, is increasing people’s experience of worry and “eco anxiety,” a term Clayton coined in 2011.

The presentation will provide an overview of climate change’s impacts on both natural systems and mental health, projections for the future, the psychology of climate anxiety, and reasons for optimism, according to a news release. Clayton has written several major papers on climate change’s negative effects on mental health and how these effects are seen in communities around the world.

The talk is the first in a series held throughout the spring semester. Occurring the first Wednesday of each month at 7 pm at Spoon Market and Deli, other Wooster Science Café events are:

  • March 1: Carlo Moreno, assistant professor of environmental studies at The College of Wooster, and Jim Duxbury, owner of Lavender Trails in Orrville, will discuss “The Science of Community-Based, Participatory Action Research.”

  • April 5: Anna Testen, a research plant pathologist with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Application Technology Research Unit, and Erick Martinez-Rodriguez, a graduate student in The Ohio State University’s department of entomology, will discuss “The Science of Bananas.”
  • May 3: Daniel Palmer, associate professor of mathematical and computational sciences at The College of Wooster, will present on “The Science of Swarm Intelligence.”

The Wooster Science Café was established to provide a forum in the Wooster community for dialogue between the public and scientists about contemporary topics. All events are free and open to the public. Spoon Market & Deli will provide light appetizers, and additional food and beverages will be available for purchase.

For more information, visit the Wooster Science Café website.

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