About 80 citizens concerned with the threat of ozone depletion attended a public meeting on June 9 in Charlottesville, Va., to discuss the issue with a panel of six leading ozone experts. Held in conjunction with the Quadrennial Ozone Symposium, the town meeting was videotaped for airing on public broadcast stations this fall. The meeting was aimed at nonexperts, to “get the word out” to the public, said the moderator, journalist Peter Hackes.
The lively, sometimes heated discussion showed the public's high awareness and concern over problems associated with ozone depletion. During the nearly 2-hour meeting topics ranged from the reparability of the ozone layer, to steps the public can take to help mitigate ozone loss, to reports of increased cases of skin cancer due to more ultraviolet radiation reaching the Earth's surface. There were also some claims that ozone depletion is overexaggerated and is a hoax for scientists to get more research funding.