Why this lecture is important

Steven Schneider's talk is important on several counts.

First, he'll talk about global warming, a phenomenon that will have direct impact on everyone's lives. Computer modeling is an important component in learning what the impact and extent of global warming is and will become. It's a complicated issue both politically (where denial is the program of the day) and scientifically (where the phenomenona are complex and controlled experiments are difficult).

Second, he will talk about Bjørn Lomborg's book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, a controversial work that purports to demonstrate that the state of the world is improving and not going to hell. Many of the issues here have to do with how science gets done and data evaluated and understood.

John Mashey, a past chief scientist at SGI and a student of applications of computers to the physical sciences, has been studying and evaluating Lomborg's work. He will act as a discussant and pose some difficult and interesting questions to the speaker. Audience comments and questions are also invited.