PULLMAN, Wash. – “An Inconvenient Truth,” with former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore, will kick off the Washington State University Common Reading Program’s fifth year of programming at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, in the Todd Auditorium.
 
The free, public screening is co-sponsored by the Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach (CEREO).
 
The critically acclaimed 2006 film tackles the headline-dominating issues of climate change, clean energy and resource conservation. Narrated by Gore, it presents the challenges of, and potential solutions to, these issues.
“The film plays an important role in the 2011-12 common reading book for freshmen, “Physics for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines,” by Richard A. Muller,” said Karen Weathermon, co-director of the Common Reading Program. “The text explicitly confirms some of the points made in the movie while raising questions about others.
 
“We hope that showing the film will help students better understand these issues and the points that the author makes in the book,” she said. “It also can serve as a foundation for a greater discussion about differing opinions and interpretation of data in scholarly communities.”
 
Through the book, freshmen will explore the science behind some of the largest issues facing the world, including terrorism, energy, nuclear technology, space and global warming. The book is the consumer version of a text book developed for Muller’s physics for non-majors course at the University of California-Berkeley, which has received recognition as the institution’s most popular class. 
 
Muller will come to Pullman in late September to visit with students and faculty and to present the annual invited lecture.
 
The film is the first event in the year-long Common Reading Tuesdays series, which primarily features WSU faculty, students and guest experts speaking on topics related to, and inspired by, the content of the book. 
 
“Physics for Future Presidents” is a required text for dozens of courses across the university and will serve as the foundation for class discussions and assignments.  New students were given the opportunity to purchase the book at a discount through the Alive! orientation program over the summer.
 
The Common Reading Program is part of the University College at WSU. For more information about the program, “Physics for Future Presidents” and Common Reading Tuesdays, visit CommonReading.wsu.edu.