By Columbia Mailman School of Public Health
The Climate Club Inc. was founded in March 2022 in the interest of bridging the gap between the science community and the general public. During the COVID-19 pandemic, The Climate Club (TCC) founder, a former student at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, noticed an increase in the spread of misinformation as well as public confusion about where and how to access reliable science. In response to this, they sought to create a platform that prioritizes accurate and accessible public health information.
In this way, The Climate Club is the first organization of its kind to actively engage students and young professionals in writing about current topics pertaining to climate, sustainability, and environmental health and providing reliable science to the general public.
Since its inception, The Climate Club (TCC) has seen significant growth in its presence on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Given the group’s focus on simplifying and personalizing scientific information, articles written remotely by TCC members help connect individuals to worldwide climate change realities. Readers have praised TCC content as being “brilliantly articulated” and as taking “amazing actions [toward] climate and environmental protection.”
Founder and Director Zhiru Wang anticipates endless possibilities for the organization: “While topics regarding climate, sustainability, and environmental health can be complex, The Climate Club believes in young scholars and provides them with a platform to become the next generation’s science communicators.”
The Climate Club’s current reach stems from the development of peer-reviewed articles published on their website and shared through social media networks. The team is also working to provide college campuses across the nation with the opportunity to start their own The Climate Club campus chapters.
“Effective science communication requires constant effort from scientists, educators, policymakers, and, just as importantly, students,” said Wang. “Encouraging university students to share scientific findings with an array of audiences may redefine the relationship between the science community and the general public, thus affecting how everyone understands the role science plays in our broader communities.”
Given the scientific and political climate of the past couple years, people need to know that the information they’re receiving is reliable. More importantly, they need to be able to understand it in order to apply it to their personal experiences.
“The Climate Club is a place people can turn to learn about and absorb meaningful science communication,” said Wang.
Staff writer Sissi Sun concurs: “It’s a beautiful journey of peer-to-peer learning.”
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