This month, Boston MBTA riders have a few more companions on the subway. Gaggles of ostriches are popping up all over the T, in poster form. The bespectacled birds are asking questions about climate change – and hopefully sparking a discussion among commuters.
UMass Boston, UMass Lowell, Hofstra University, and the Museum of Science, Boston have teamed up to get T riders talking about climate change. The resulting project, ScienceToGo, features posters on the T, and life-size cutouts of “Ozzie the Ostrich” at two different Boston locations. T riders are invited to guess how many scientists agree that people are causing climate change. The answer, 97%, might surprise some.
To Bob Chen, co-principal investigator on the ScienceToGo project and professor of environmental, earth, and ocean sciences at UMass Boston, that’s all part of the mission of the National Science Foundation-funded project.
“Like ostriches, some of us have our heads in the sand about climate change,” says Chen. He also points out that the project helps to put professional scientists in conversation with the general public.
“ScienceToGo is an innovative way for scientists to realize the broader impacts of their research by going straight to the public where they commute to work every day,” he says.
Commuters can expect to see a few more ostriches in surprising locations as the ScienceToGo project continues over the next 14 months. For now, Bostonians interested in the climate change-curious ostriches can visit ScienceToGo.org, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.