Catherine-Cooper-PULLMAN, Wash. – Professor Catherine “Katie” Cooper, WSU School of the Environment, will give the 2017 Roots of Contemporary Issues Interdisciplinary Lecture, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, in the CUB Senior Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

Cooper’s presentation is titled “Plate Tectonics: How the Earth’s Interior Impacts Elections, Cell Phones, Global Climate, and You”

Overview: “Rarely does a field of science get an overarching, unifying theory that encapsulates most observations, yet plate tectonics, for the most part, serves that function for geology. The theory revolutionized the field. Yet, it wasn’t fully adopted until the 1970s, despite evidence and hints pointing to it since the 1800s and early 1900s.

“The adoption of plate tectonics serves as a great example of building scientific consensus the process in which scientists converge on the acceptance and maturation of scientific claims and knowledge. The rise of consensus in the scientific community remains critically pressing in today’s anthropogenic climate change. This talk will explore the emergence of the theory of plate tectonics, explain the importance of building scientific consensus, and demonstrate several surprising ways that the slow motions of the Earth’s surface dramatically shape our daily lives.”

The lecture is sponsored by sponsored by the Roots of Contemporary Issues program and the WSU Department of History. For more information, see the WSU Department of History site. or contact