Most of the time, we see scientists being detached; doing their job of communicating the scientific facts about climate change without revealing their emotional reactions to the very bad news they are sharing.

Every once in a while, a scientist lets his or her guard down. Jason Box, a glaciologist who studies the rapidly melting Greenland ice cap, recently let slip the F word and got a lot of press about it. But most of the time we don’t get to know what the scientists themselves think about what’s happening to our world.

This beautiful series of photographs, called Scared Scientists, captures scientists in moments of vulnerability, moments when the person behind the “scientist” facade is visible. Accompanying the photographs are short statements about what the scientists most fear. It’s well worth spending time letting these pictures and words sink in. It’s easy to want to distract yourself away from the unpleasant and scary stuff. But if we are to solve this problem, we must face our fears head on, deal with them, and take action.