“Now is the time to act.” In this episode, Professor Dava Newman fields listeners’ questions about climate change and introduces EarthDNA, a platform for climate advocacy and action.



Professor Dava Newman is an aerospace engineer whose career has largely focused on developing improved space suits for eventual interplanetary travel. But in recent years she has turned her sights back toward Earth, using the vast amounts of data collected by satellites in near space to inform and motivate the public for the fight against catastrophic climate change. In this episode, Prof. Newman fields listener-submitted questions about climate change and also talks more specifically about EarthDNA, a nonprofit startup she co-founded to serve as a platform for climate advocacy and action. EarthDNA aims to curate petabytes of data and presents it in eye-catching visualizations structured around the four major subsystems of our home planet—oceans, land, air, and near space. But it won’t just present the facts; it also seeks to steer users toward actions and activities that will make a difference. One of the chief goals for the platform is to provide personalized information that is relevant to the user’s specific interests and geographic location because, as Prof. Newman explains, we all care most about what’s happening in our own backyards or in the places that are important to us.

Relevant Resources:

MIT OpenCourseWare

The OCW Educator Portal

EarthDNA on the Web

Professor Newman’s climate resources on OCW

Professor Newman’s aerospace engineering course on OCW

Professor Newman at MIT’s Institute for Data, Systems, and Society

Music in this episode by Blue Dot Sessions

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Sarah Hansen, host and producer

Brett Paci, producer

Dave Lishansky, producer

Show notes by Peter Chipman