Eunice Foote to UCSB: A Story of Women, Science, and Climate Change

AD&A Museum’s Communications and Programs Assitant, Emily Corb, has had the opportunity to assist Alex Regan and John Perlin with the curation and research of an upcoming UCSB Library exhibition titled Eunice Foote to UCSB: A Story of Women, Science, and Climate Change.


Eunice Foote was an early American feminist, inventor, and ground-breaking scientist. Foote’s insights serve as a cornerstone of understanding the greenhouse effect, and her feminist activism created the momentum for changes in the civil, social, and political rights of women. Despite these achievements, few have heard of Foote.

John Perlin, an author and visiting scholar in the UCSB Physics Department, is writing a book about Eunice Foote to make evidentFoote’s primacy in laying the foundation for understanding the greenhouse effect-a critical component of the climate system. He hopes to help restore her place among other early pioneers of climate science, such as John Tyndall and Svante Arrhenius.

The story of Eunice Foote reveals the deep historical roots of climate change science and demonstrates that women have been making important contributions to climate science for a long time. As Dr. Joe Incandela, UCSB Vice-Chancellor of Research states, “This important history about Eunice Foote needs to hit the main stage in light of its global warming lessons and its revelations about the history of women in science.”

This UCSB Library exhibition will draw on Perlin’s research to illustrate Foote’s contributions to climate science and feminism and connect her legacy to the contributions of faculty at UCSB who study climate change.

Curated by John Perlin, Emily Corb, and Alex Regan, with special thanks to Dr. David Lea and Dr. Kelly Caylor. Co-sponsored with the Bren School for Environmental Science & Management, the Chancellor’s Campus Sustainability Committee, Division of Student Affairs, Environmental Studies, Feminist Studies,theInstitute for Energy Efficiency, UCSB Arts & Lectures’ Thematic Learning Initiative and theUCSB Environmental and Climate Justice Studies Hub.

The exhibition will be on display on the first floor, Ocean Side gallery of the UCSB Library from October 28, 2019 to Spring 2020.

Please join us for a panel discussion, reception, and opportunity to view the exhibition 4-6PM on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 in the Library’s Instruction & Training Room 1312 (1st Floor, Mountain Side).

-Text by Alex Regan

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