Published: May 1, 2018

Former Obama science and technology advisor John P. Holdren stopped by in November for the first edition of the Dean’s Speaker Series, sitting down for a chat with Bobby Braun in front of a packed house of more than 500 people in the Glenn Miller Ballroom.

Holdren, a vocal advocate for efforts to combat climate change, fielded questions from the audience on sustainability, science education and more. He also shared his hopes for the future of science and technology innovation and policy.

“My greatest hope is that we will not lose hope,” he said. “I hope the scientists, engineers and innovators in this country—and the young people who are aspiring to become scientists, engineers and innovators—will not become discouraged by the current political environment. Evidence, facts and analysis will ultimately prevail.”

Engineers Without Borders-USA celebrates 15-year milestone

Holdren also helped celebrate the 15th anniversary of the founding of Engineers Without Borders here at CU Boulder, joining the group and its supporters for a reception and silent auction fundraiser for the CU chapter.   

In an interview with chapter president Nikki van den Heever for the college’s On Cue podcast, Holdren discussed why he thinks engineering for developing communities, including the work of EWB, is so important. While the causes of climate change are global, he said, it is vulnerable communities in both developing and industrialized nations that bear the brunt of the local effects.

“If we want to provide the information and the services that will enable these vulnerable communities to cope with the impacts of climate change, then we’ve got to engage with them, and we have to bring engineering to bear on these communities in intelligent ways,” Holdren said.