Our vision

The Bartlett Center was created out of the realization that moving toward a just and sustainable world will take all of us working creatively, generously, and together. By building networks, relationships, trust, capacity, and wisdom, we aim to cultivate climate resilience, to regenerate the commons, and to nurture both individual and collective environmental praxis. We respect systems thinking drawn from transdisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and experiential knowledge to help us imagine and energize healthier, happier, and more harmonious ecological, economic, and cultural interactions.

Our values

  • We believe that people can make a better world by addressing the wicked problems around sustainability
  • We are situated in the natural and physical sciences, and are grounded in scientific research, consensus, and information
  • We reach out to those with other ways of knowing and doing as equal partners, including those based in the arts, humanities, and communities outside the academy
  • We recognize that communication is equally vital to science and to social change
  • We embrace transparency, participation, and action

Initiatives

The Bartlett Center strengthens the capacity for productive and engaged science communication along the Front Range by:

  • Helping CU researchers unite their identities as scientists and active citizens.
  • With the City of Boulder and community groups, forwarding the participation of CU researchers in Boulder’s Climate Commitment. 
  • Bringing together a network of climate communication and engagement professionals to share best practices and get work done. (See the SCENE newsletter archive.)
  • Supporting workshops that help CU researchers up their games in science communication and community engagement. (Read about the Engaged Scientist series.) 
  • Bringing artists and scientists into dialogue around issues of sustainability, using gallery space in the Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Complex (SEEC). 

About Al Bartlett

Our center’s namesake, Albert A. Bartlett, was an influential physics professor at CU Boulder who made a difference in the lives of his students, the University, and his wider community. We are inspired by his identity as a science communicator, and also as a community activist. Bartlett was always ready to argue against the concept that infinite growth is sustainable. In 1969 he first delivered his lecture Arithmetic, Population, and Energy, on population and the power of the exponential. He delivered that lecture 1,742 times over the course of the rest of his life. Bartlett was also a tireless community activist. He helped initiate some of the efforts that make Boulder what it is today, including preserving open space, building bike paths, and instituting the “Blue Line” that restricts water supply (and therefore development) above a maximum elevation. Read more about Al. At the Bartlett Center for Science Communication, we hope to unite science communication and civic engagement with the same passion that Al Bartlett so ably demonstrated.