By Jules Lavallee
Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 08/15/2020 – The Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Harvard Chan C-CHANGE), Director, Dr. Aaron Bernstein and the Environmental Media Association (EMA) has launched Reel Science, a new web series featuring actors and scientists talking about climate change. First launched by EMA Board Member, actor/activist Eric Christian Olsen, known for his portrayals of Detective Marty Deeks on the CBS television series NCIS: Los Angeles, and of Austin in the film Not Another Teen Movie. The series provides an opportunity for actors to use their platforms to help scientists reach new and diverse audiences on climate change in a way that is more personal, actionable, and urgent.
Eric Christian Olsen, What causes are important to you?
Climate change and environmental justice are critically important to me as they pose an immediate threat to our health and the health of future generations. Taking action on climate change must be a top priority to ensure we are protecting our children and those that are most vulnerable.
Do celebrities have a responsibility to use their celebrity as a platform for change?
I think as actors and athletes we have a unique ability to reach large diverse audiences. We should use our platforms to help educate and inform our networks of the critical environmental and social justice issues and how everyone can get involved.
You are working on a new initiative with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Harvard Chan C-CHANGE and the Environmental Media Association (EMA). How did you join forces with Harvard Chan C-CHANGE Director, Dr. Aaron Bernstein?
I serve on the Executive Board of the Environmental Media Association, and when they approached me about launching the Reel Science series, I knew that it was an important endeavor to help get science into the hands of a broader audience. This partnership helps support trusted scientific experts and provides practical solutions for climate action to ensure a safe and healthy future for all.
Tell us about the new Reel Science web series. Who can we expect to see?
So far we have featured the incredible Nikki Reed, Kate Bosworth, and my wife Sarah Wright Olsen. For the coming episodes, we are hoping to reach out to other EMA board members and partners like Karrueche Tran, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Ian Somerhalder, and Daniela Ruah.
What are the key topics of discussion? How can we get involved?
Some of the topics we hope to cover:
- The impacts of climate change on racial minorities
- The impacts of climate change on clinical practice
- Climate change and extreme heat
- Wildfires and air pollution
- Climate change, water quality, and water shortages
- Climate change and infectious diseases
- Effective climate communication
- Natural disaster preparedness
- Health impacts of fossil fuels
- Conservation, regeneration, and strategies for a healthier future
You can follow @HarvardCCHANGE, @green4ema, and @ericcolsen to see the latest clips and learn more about the series at hsph.me/reelscience
Why is this initiative timely?
The pandemic has halted traditional forms of gathering and right now, most of us are stuck in our homes. But we cannot lose momentum on climate action. We are having these conversations now to help people draw the connections between climate change, environmental justice, global pandemics, and the power of voting ahead of the November elections.
What are your goals for Reel Science?
We want to help connect the dots about how climate change impacts our health, and we want to bring these issues to new and diverse audiences to make this science kitchen-table knowledge. These are issues that affect our kids, our families, our friends, and neighbors. Everyone should have access to science and understand how it impacts our health. We hope that these videos are entertaining, informative, and humanize scientists and science while offering practical advice for taking climate action.