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Inaugural lecture for Professor Saffron O’Neill

Visualising climate change: Stories from a climate change photo album

The talk will start at 16:30 in Henderson Lecture Theatre, XFI Building, University of Exeter Streatham Campus, with the option to join online via Teams for those that cannot make it to campus. There will be a drinks reception at 16:00 and after the lecture in XFI Atrium.

Event details


Images are everywhere. From TV to newspapers to Instagram, images play a key role in communication. When you think about climate change imagery, which pictures come to mind? Maybe it’s a scientific figure? A photograph you saw in a newspaper? Or perhaps it’s an online meme, a protest sign, or your child’s scribbled drawing stuck to the fridge door. All of these climate images play a central role in how we engage with climate change, influencing our emotional responses and even our behavioural intentions. This lecture will explore what climate change currently ‘looks like’, and what effects climate images can have in the world. It will argue that we should look more critically at images and better understand their power in society. Finally, it will provide some ideas about how we might make climate visuals more representative, equitable and just.

Saffron will weave together her work over the last two decades, and reflect on some of the challenges and opportunities which have led her to this inaugural lecture: notably, on being ‘interdisciplinary’, and on being a mum and part-time worker in the academy. And of course, as her work is focussed on visuals, there will be pictures – and lots of them!

This event will be chaired by Prof Nicola Thomas, Head of Department at Exeter Geography.
Leo Hickman, Editor and Director of climate journalism organisation Carbon Brief, will provide a concluding reflection.


To register, please click here. The Teams link and further details will be sent on registration.

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Henderson Lercture Theatre