"Well, I'm Back," She Said

By Chris Mooney | June 5, 2007 5:50 pm

posted by Sheril R. Kirshenbaum

bill.jpg..back in the District that is, for Capitol Hill Oceans Week (CHOW). And the city is just as hot and sticky as ever while folks now bustle about Metro Center around me. I’m sitting in the Cosi on G street, where long ago I discovered that I do indeed enjoy hummus.

Though I no longer reside here, DC is still the same surreal town I remember – despite a few new buildings and the ever-expanding boundaries of gentrification in my old NW neighborhood. The soccer and kickball players have returned to the Mall and this week’s protesters are already in full force on Mass Ave. (and as usual, it’s difficult to determine the impetus of today’s demonstration, but not to worry as there’s sure to be another tomorrow). Tourists abound with maps and children in tow. The sun reflects on the roofs of a seemingly endless stream of cars that never appear to go anywhere as they twist, turn, and course about the nonsensical streets that define Capitol City.

The best thing about this place is that most everyone’s moving through. Very few come to settle down, but the experience stays with you and draws you back now and then. For even though you always knew you were just one of the million transients.. you were here and part of something bigger. And regardless of whether you’re satisfied with the state of government today or seek change, you can’t help but smile knowing we live in a place where each of us can have an impact in some way. On whatever scale.

I arrived to the District an idealist and many seasoned veterans predicted I would fast become jaded. I haven’t. I’ve matured. Thank Darwin, I’ve evolved into an optimistic realist. Time in this city has encouraged me that policy grounded in science is indeed possible when you create the right incentives, build trust, foster partnerships, and celebrate the small victories. I’ve seen it happen firsthand and can imagine all sorts of possibilities from here.. So I’m back. Ready to talk about how it’s possible to implement better oceans governance. Now. In Real Time.

Day 1 of CHOW comes to a close. More to come so stay tuned..

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Politics and Science

Comments (3)

  1. Linda

    I’m all for optimistic realists…
    Give em’ hell Sheril

  2. Sam Boyarsky

    I’d be interested in more discussion of what incentives are needed, and how one goes about building trust in an environment such as politics. Both of those seem like non-trivial tasks to me.

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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by Salon.com and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.

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