Jim Fleming

Colby College

Medium and Message: An ePoster on Climate Intervention and Why It Matters Today

New forms of social media are rapidly changing the structure of traditional academic conferences, opening up new communication channels for a wide variety of audiences. Plenary lectures, parallel sessions, and sponsored receptions are being supplemented by meeting wifi, hashtags, and other trending and trendy apps that simultaneously distract and enable us. Traditional posters, although ubiquitous at scientific meetings, lack the pizazz of new media and are not popular among humanists. On the other hand, eposters, such as the American Geophysical Union’s experiment with eLightning, although innovative, are not truly interactive. They restrict the presenters to a 3-minute time slot, severely constrain the possible formats, and increase the meeting costs.
This eposter is anything but traditional. It uses both print and electronic formats (cool and hot media) to examine the history of climate intervention ideas and practices and to demonstrate why this history matters. An iPad Pro installed at the center of a printed poster will coordinate the experience, allowing flexible formatting, and shaping the discussion of both the content and the form of the message whether the poster author is present or not.

Jim Fleming is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at Colby College, Maine. He has written extensively on the history of weather, climate, technology, and the environment including social, cultural, and intellectual aspects. His books include Meteorology in America (Johns Hopkins, 1990), Historical Perspectives on Climate Change (Oxford, 1998), The Callendar Effect (AMS, 2007), Fixing the Sky (Columbia, 2010), Inventing Atmospheric Science (MIT, 2016), and Breaking through the Clouds: Joanne Simpson and the Tropical Atmosphere (MIT, forthcoming).