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You and the planet: air

Online event

Event video


18:00 - 19:00


the Royal Society YouTube channel


Air pollution causes around 7 million premature deaths every year, according to the World Health Organisation. And, as well as the impact on human health, poor air quality and increasing greenhouse gases in our atmosphere have a serious impact on our planet’s health.

Aerial view of smoke billowing from a factory. Image credit: Evgeny555

From the cars we drive, fuels we burn and animals we farm to the garbage we landfill and beyond, human activity continues to be the main source of pollutants in our air. Without urgent action, we will continue to see increasing global temperatures, extreme weather, damage to biodiversity and loss of human life. But what can we do to tackle the problem we are currently facing? And how can we take clean, fresh steps forward? 

The event was hosted in partnership with Manchester Science Festival and was also streamed as a part of NI Science Festival. 


The event was hosted by Helen Pidd, North of England editor of the Guardian and founding member of Walk Ride Greater Manchester. Helen was joined by: 

  • Professor David Fowler CBE FRSE FRS, world leading expert on air pollution, formerly of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
  • Dr Mark RichardsSenior Lecturer and Head of Outreach in the Department of Physics at Imperial College London
  • Dr Ther Wint Aung, energy poverty expert and a National Geographic Explorer leading citizen science air monitoring activities in Myanmar
  • Dr Suzanne Bartington, Clinical Research Fellow in Environmental Health in the Institute of Applied Health Research and Honorary Consultant in Public Health at Public Health England

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