Science Cafe: ‘Are we facing the end of the world?’  

On 31 October 2023, a Science Cafe entitled ‘Are we facing the end of the world?’ was held to discuss climate change and its effects on humanity and the entire Earth’s biosphere.

In the conversation with the audience gathered in the lobby of the Faculty of Biology building, and also present virtually thanks to the event’s broadcast via University of Gdańsk YouTube channel, representatives of 3 scientific disciplines from three UG faculties: Biology, Chemistry and Oceanography and Geography: Ph.D. Piotr Rutkowski, Prof. Aleksandra Bielicka-Giełdoń and Ph.D. Mirosława Malinowska, shared their expert knowledge. The discussion was moderated by Ph.D. Wojciech Glac.

During the meeting the audience could hear three different perspectives on such issues as climate change with its symptoms on a global and local scale, the causes of climate change and the biosphere and human responsibility for it, forecasts of climate change and the living environment on Earth, as well as possible actions aimed at adaptation and mitigation to climate change.

The discussion ended with the answer to the title question – ‘are we facing the end of the world?’. In response the researchers cited various types of data to assess the current condition of the Earth in terms of climate change, biodiversity and environmental pollution – as one that evokes a sense of threat and requires rapid and extensive adaptation and mitigation measures. However, the talk concluded on an optimistic note, reflected in the researchers’ hope that increasing awareness of the above will prevent the worst-case scenarios for the Earth.