Watch: Spoken word seeks to inspire action against climate crisis

12 Nov 2019

Image: © Studio-FI/

A new collaboration between Science Foundation Ireland and poet Stephen James Smith is urging the public to get involved in climate action.

To celebrate Science Week 2019, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has collaborated with poet and playwright Stephen James Smith on a piece of work called Everything.

The poem is described as a reflection on climate action and science in the spoken word. Commissioned by SFI as a cultural artefact, Everything responds to and observes the beauty, ambition, risk, potential and boldness of science in our modern age, and the societal challenges we face.

The commission comes as part of SFI’s remit to engage the public in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), incorporating the arts (STEAM) to reach new and diverse audiences.

Speaking about the partnership, Smith said: “There’s an increasing appreciation for the role art and STEAM can play in helping people understand science.

“Climate change is the biggest challenge our generation faces and yet, for many people, climate action does not relate to their lives. Everything aims to make science and climate change more personal and relatable for people and I am honoured to have worked with Science Foundation Ireland to create it and I hope people enjoy it.”

Smith has performed his poetry at high-profile events and festivals around the world. His debut collection Fear Not was published by Arlen House and released in September 2018. His poetry is included on the syllabus at Western Connecticut State University and his work has been translated into Irish, Spanish, Slovenian, Polish, Dutch and Italian.

A man is looking at something off-camera with a serious expression.

Stephen James Smith. Image: Babs Daly Grace Photography

Accompanied by a video, produced by Design for Life, the poem’s call to action is particularly important given recent research from SFI suggested that 88pc of people living in Ireland agree on the planet getting warmer as a result of the climate crisis.

However, when asked about the current level of information provided on climate action, almost half of those surveyed indicated that the subject is confusing and unclear.

This year’s Science Week is dedicated to challenging that lack of clarity. It runs until 17 November in a bid to bring science and climate action to the fore of peoples’ minds through fun, engaging and interactive events. A full list of the week’s events can be found here.

Lisa Ardill was careers editor at Silicon Republic until June 2021