We know that mothers will do anything to protect their children. Science Moms do, too—and they're counting on us in the fight against climate change.
Science Moms is a nonpartisan group of scientists and mothers who are trying to bring the conversation about climate change from laboratories and politics into our homes and neighborhoods. They're trying to make the climate crisis feel personal—because it is.
Dr. Tracey Holloway is the 2017-2021 Gaylord Nelson Distinguished Professor at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, where her work focuses on air pollution. She serves as the Team Lead for the NASA Health and Air Quality Applied Sciences Team. And she's a Science Mom.
"The Science Moms program is encouraging moms to talk about [climate change] with their communities, with their friends, with the organizations they're in, and with their leaders," Dr. Holloway told Motherly in an exclusive interview. "Because even though studies have shown that people care about climate, people want to do something about climate—moms especially—that we don't talk about it."
"I think one of the reasons maybe we don't talk about it is it's because so politicized and touchy," she added. "Or maybe because it's complicated and it's hard to know the facts."
By the time a child born today goes to college, it may be too late to leave them the world we promised. We have to… https://t.co/lRAhEOD8nN— Science Moms | Breaking Down Climate Change (@joinsciencemoms) 1618344027.0
That's where Science Moms comes in. They've gathered the latest research and data on climate change and broken it down for readers on their site. There are also videos, graphics, and book recommendations for adults and kids. "We are trying to meet moms where they are, with a lot of different ways to learn about climate," says Dr. Holloway.
She says that becoming a mother has changed the way she views her work—for the better.
"So much of what we do as moms is preparing them for the future and trying to think about the world that they're going to grow up in," she says. Prior to having kids, Dr. Holloway said that conversations about the future felt a little abstract. The years 2050 or 2080 seemed like a long way off. When she thinks about 2050 now, she knows that her youngest child will only be 30 years old by then.
"All of this thinking that I've been doing about the future from a science perspective really hits home," she says, "knowing that this is what my own kids and their friends and all the other kids are going to grow up in."
"One thing you often hear is, 'gosh, this is going to be a real challenge for the kids to deal with' or 'this is going to be the challenge of their generation,'" she continues. "And I feel like that's not fair. Why should we be making this huge problem that we know exists and that we have solutions for, and just decide to put it on the shoulders of these one-year-olds? I think we can do better than that."
Science Moms is dedicated to educating mothers because they know that we are a force for change. Not only are we raising the next generation, but we're actively involved in shaping our world today. We use our purchasing power to support brands with values that align with ours; we vote for politicians who support policies that benefit children and families.
Motherly's 2021 State of Motherhood survey found that mothers are actively engaged in politics that support their families, using their voices and financial contributions to elevate causes like paid family leave, racial justice, affordable childcare, gender equality, and reducing hunger and food insecurity.
"We're the ones who are going to make the change," says Dr. Holloway. "The voices of moms have always been powerful. There's so many initiatives where mothers have banded together and are a very powerful voice in society."
"And there are a lot of solutions for climate change. This is not a doom and gloom situation," she adds. That's why it's so important for mothers to get educated and involved—because we can make a real difference.
"That's where the energy comes from: the people," says Dr. Holloway.
It comes from moms. It comes from us.