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Dr. Jessamyn Fairfield, award-winning science communicator, performer, and lecturer at the University of Galway’s School of Natural Sciences, an alumna of Team HB4, and Homeward Bound faculty member (Team7/8), is leading a new project called ‘We Built This City on Rock and Coal.’ This innovative interactive comedy show is all about sparking discussions and inspiring change around environmental topics. It’s hitting the road, touring rural Ireland to bring its unique blend of hopepunk, climate research, music, and community engagement to diverse communities.

As the director of Bright Club Ireland for the past nine years, Dr. Fairfield has extensive experience using comedy to engage people with difficult and complex research topics. “Comedy often helps people approach topics more laterally, with more of a willingness to change their minds,” Dr. Fairfield said. This makes comedy a surprisingly apt approach for climate action.”

Ximena Aguilar Vega

Photo Credit: Supplied 

A Unique Spin on Sustainability

At the heart of ‘We Built This City on Rock and Coal’ is a blend of entertainment and education. Each live performance features sustainability workshops and citizen science activities. What’s great is that audience input shapes the show, fuelling the improvisation of scenes, songs, and sketches, making each performance tailor-made for the community.

This project isn’t just about putting on a show—it’s about making a difference. By weaving sustainability themes into the performances and providing follow-on actions and resources, the project aims to spark meaningful dialogue and inspire action on environmental issues. From motivating climate action to offering practical tips and hands-on citizen science activities, the project is all about deepening audience commitment to sustainability.

Photo Credit: Anita Murphy

Stronger Together

Dr. Fairfield’s work exemplifies the power of performing arts in public engagement with science and showcases the transformative impact of collaboration in driving change. By bringing together diverse stakeholders and engaging locals, it highlights the collective strength of rural communities and demonstrates how women’s leadership can make a significant difference. This approach not only fosters inclusivity but also propels us towards a more sustainable future.

For more information and show times click here.