Celsius-Linnaeus Lectures 2019: Climate change, carbon dioxide storage, and human health

Press release
30 January 2019

What do we need to be able to store carbon dioxide in bedrock and thereby reduce the human impact on the global climate? Is climate change in combination with environmental toxins affecting human health? At the Celsius-Linnaeus lectures on 7 February, geologist Martin Blunt and microbiologist and toxicologist Linda S. Birnbaum will present research findings on some of the biggest challenges facing humanity.

In February each year, the Faculty of Science and Technology at Uppsala University organises two lectures to be held in memory of Anders Celsius and Carl Linnaeus. The lecturers chosen are researchers whose world-leading and highly topical research has attracted considerable interest in the scientific community and is of great public interest.

Celsius-Linnaeus lectures
This year's lectures will be held in Siegbahnsalen at the Ångström Laboratory in Uppsala on 7 February. The lecturers for this year are geologist Martin Blunt from Imperial College London, UK, and microbiologist and toxicologist Linda S. Birnbaum, Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program, North Carolina, USA.

The lectures on Thursday 7 February will be filmed and can be viewed via the University's video portal.

Martin Blunt is the Shell Professor in Petroleum Engineering at the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London, UK. He is one of the leading experts in the area of multiphase flow in complex porous media. His research interests notably include applications for geological carbon storage, oil and gas extraction, and contaminant transport and clean-up in polluted aquifers. In recent years, he has focused on advanced, micro-scale laboratory experiments, where his research team uses X-ray micro tomography to map rock structures and fluid flows in them. Understanding these processes at pore level is essential to being able to build models on a larger scale and make predictions from these models about how oil and gas, injected carbon dioxide (for carbon dioxide storage) or contaminants disperse in soil and bedrock.

Linda S. Birnbaum is Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program in North Carolina, USA. She has spent nearly 40 years investigating, evaluating and educating the public about the risks associated with exposure to environmental toxins. Her own research focuses on how chemicals in the environment are taken up and metabolised in the body and the mode of action of toxic substances including endocrine disruption and the link between actual exposures and effects on health. Her expertise lies in environmental toxins such as dioxins, PCBs and flame retardants and how these are affecting global health and can cause disease. In recent years, her research focus has been on the potential combined effects of exposure to toxins in our environment and climate change. In her lecture, Linda Birnbaum will take up the question: How might public health be affected by an increase in global temperatures of 1.5˚ Celsius?

Celsius-Linnaeus Symposium – Environment, Climate Change and Human Health
On the same day, Thursday 7 February, a multi-disciplinary Celsius-Linnaeus Symposium will be held from 13:30 – 17:00 in Polhemsalen at the Ångström Laboratory. The lecturers for the symposium come from Uppsala University, Stockholm University and Umeå University and will all talk on the theme “Environment, Climate Change and Human Health”. The symposium is based on two perspectives: how humans are impacting the climate and the environment, and how the environment and the climate change is impacting human health. The symposium will conclude with a panel discussion and the opportunity for the audience to put questions to any of the day’s lecturers.

Time and place:
The Celsius-Linnaeus lectures will be held in Siegbahnsalen at the Ångström Laboratory, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala. Martin Blunt will begin his lecture at 09:15 and Linda P. Birnbaum will begin hers at 10:45.

The symposium be held the same day in Polhemsalen at the Ångström Laboratory, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala at 13:30 – 17:00.

The media and the general public are invited to attend both the lectures and the symposium. Admission is free and no bookings are required. All items on the programme will be in English.

For interviews with the lecturers, please contact Anneli Björkman, the Office for Science and Technology, +46(0)70-425 02 50, anneli.bjorkman@uadm.uu.se

For more information, please contact Hemin Koyi, chair of the Celsius-Linnaeus Committee, and professor at the Department of Earth Sciences, +46(0)18-471 2563 hemin.koyi@geo.uu.se

Read more at:
Celsius-Linnaeus lectures and symposium
Interviews with Uppsala University’s hosts for the Celsius-Linnaeus lecturers