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The Big Read 2021-22

  Welcome to Sheffield Hallam University’s Big Read 2021.

This year, we have chosen How to Save our Planet by Professor Mark Maslin.  We invite all our students and staff to read this important book. 

Climate change is the biggest challenge facing humanity. The far-reaching impacts of the irreversible change we have caused are already being felt across the world and will worsen to affect every aspect of our lives and those of future generations for centuries. This is an emergency, it is not late too act. 

Climate change is not one issue. It is about social justice as well as our relationship with the environment, and the havoc we have wrought in pursuit of endless growth and profit. It is also an educational issue: we are preparing ourselves and our children for a world of unpredictability, complexity, and exceptional challenge. Whatever subject you study, teach or research, and no matter your profession, you will hold part of the solution. 

Given the urgency of the climate situation, there is growing pressure for rapid action and leadership. Universities are no exception. We have a responsibility to our students, our staff, our society, and perhaps above all to future generations to act. At Sheffield Hallam, we are committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2030 for the majority of our activities. We want to work closely with others in our regions to stimulate change. This means support our researchers to drive new approaches and more sustainable innovations. It means looking at what and how we teach. It means empowering our students to shape positive change – on campus, in their curriculum, and in their community so that we can all be part of the climate solution. 

Understanding climate change and what it means is challenging following decades of mainstream denial, and in a time of misinformation. Mark Maslin offers focus, clarity, and common purpose. He arms us with the most important, often terrifying facts and, despite the scale of the challenge, offers hopeful solutions. This book can act as your guide, offering you knowledge and agency to inspire and prepare you for the action you will take. 

Professor Sir Chris Husbands