SEI Research Associate Eleni Michalopoulou responded to the news that American actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio had offered support to a Siberian community facing a devastating forest fire.

Local rescuers in Yakutia have struggled to contain the fire, which has destroyed at least 8 million hectares of forest. DiCaprio reacted after a local community  member reached out to him through social media, knowing that environmental issues were close to his heart. He replied saying he would speak to the authorities to find out what he could do. This prompted the authorities to respond.

Michalopoulou commented on the influence that celebrity involvement can have on environmental issues:

“Due to the fact that celebrities have a very wide audience and they have the opportunity to share information with different age and social groups, it is very useful and important to involve them in a problem since there is a high probability of its solution.”

Read the full news item (in Russian).

SEI has worked with celebrities to increase the outreach of research, including to celebrate the UN International Day of Clean Air for blue skies.