Climate change experts to meet in Aberdeen to discuss issue of 'alternative' facts

University of Aberdeen professors, Pete Smith and Jo Smith, will host a meeting and panel discussion this week (Saturday, March 18) looking at how evidence is used in making decisions about climate change.

Leading UK Climate Change scientists, including Professor Smith will present short talks on this topic, followed by a panel discussion with questions from the audience.

The event will take place during British Science Week and Climate Week on Saturday, March 18, in the Zoology Lecture Theatre at the University of Aberdeen.

Professor Smith said: “I am delighted to welcome all of our speakers to Aberdeen to discuss this important and topical issue.

“We have seen many recent examples of  ’alternative facts’ - where evidence is ignored in favour of a different world view,  for example last week when Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s head of the US Environmental Protection Agency dismissed the overwhelming scientific consensus that carbon dioxide emissions are a primary cause of global warming. Alternative facts are often treated as if they were as valid as real evidence, and during British Science Week, we want to challenge this trend, and to show the crucial role that science and evidence should play in policy-making. The Royal Meteorological Society will release a communique on this very issue ahead of our meeting.”

Other speakers confirmed for the event include, Professor Piers Forster from the University of Leeds, Dr Jo House from the University of Bristol, Professor Terry Dawson on Kings College London, and Aberdeenshire councillor, Dr Martin Ford.

Professor Smith continued: “In this meeting, our speakers will present short talks examining the importance of science and evidence for policy making, the role of science in understanding climate change, food security under climate change, the Paris Climate Agreement, and what might happen if the US withdraws from the Paris Agreement.

“I’m sure everyone who attends the event will find discussion insightful and informative. Hopefully those who do come along will engage in a lively discussion with our panel, who will be on-hand to answer questions.”

The event will take place in the Lecture Theatre in the University’s Zoology Building on Tillydrone Avenue at 10am on Saturday, March 18.

Entry to the event is free but booking essential. For further information and booking details, please see

The University of Aberdeen will host a number of events during British Science Week, in partnership with the British Science Association Aberdeen branch. The programme has events for people of all ages and interests including talks and activity days. For more information visit