Today, March 30, 2009 close to 3:30 pm, President Barack Obama signed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 into law!
The package includes many important initiatives that oceans folks like me have been working to realize for a very long time including ocean exploration, NOAA undersea research, ocean and coastal mapping integration, the integrated coastal and ocean observation system, federal ocean acidification research and monitoring, coastal and estuarine land conservation, and more!
Congratulations everyone! This is a historic day. The news is encouraging and now we must stay vigilant as there is plenty more to be done.
Finally, on a personal note… After so many years of hard work, this goes out to Sea Grant Fellows past and present, the good folks inhabiting NOAA’s Silver Spring offices, and all the incredible staffers I know working tirelessly on these issues behind the scenes in our nation’s capitol.
Meanwhile, those of us who know climate science find it maddening.
A little bird pointed out to me an exercise you can do to establish just how out of touch with climate science the New York Times magazine writer, Nicholas Dawidoff, apparently is. Go to the article, and just search. Put in phrases like “United Nations” and “Intergovernmental Panel.” Yup, that’s right: Nowhere in the 8,000 word article will you find any reference to the definitive source of scientific information and consensus on global warming, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It just isn’t there, not even as something that Dyson can critique and argue against.
It’s simply stunning.
I’m back from the 2009 Science and Technology in Society Conference in DC where I really enjoyed meeting so many terrific graduate students interested in pursuing science and policy. I was there to discuss my career path–which admittedly, isn’t something I planned as a scientist turned radio DJ turned policy wonk turned blogger and author. I emphasized the benefits of an interdisciplinary education and reminded everyone there are many ways to pursue a career in science. The best advice I have echoed the message of the morning’s keynote address by James Turner, former Chief Counsel to the Committee on Science and Technology: Follow your passion.
Here I am on the career panel with Todd LePorte of George Mason University and Debra Mathews of the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University. The conference was a wonderful opportunity to explore the myriad of intersections between science, policy, and society and we should be having these conversations as often as possible.
I also moderated a thought-provoking graduate student panel on education where I was extremely impressed with the presentations–so much so, that every morning this week, I’ll be highlighting a panelist’s topic and posing a related question to readers from the discussion that followed. Here’s what we have to look forward to:
Tuesday: Megan Anderson, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The science in the News: A Useful Tool or Distracting Target in the Pursuit of Scientific Literacy?
Wednesday: Christine Luk, Arizona State University
Engaging Women in Science and Technology Policy-making: Beyond the Paradox of Under-representation of Women
Thursday: Fei Guo, Southeast University, Nanjing, China, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Absense of Engineering Ethics in China and its Solutions: An STS Perspective
Friday: Reynold Galope, Georgie State and Georgia Tech
Defining a Comparison Sample to Measure the Effect of Institutional Factors on Highly Creative Scientific Research: Issues and Options
As you can see, a very interesting mix of subjects that will be fun to discuss here…
Last week, Sheril linked all the different papers that had run George Will’s infamous February 15 “Dark Green Doomsayers” column. So after my own Washington Post rejoinder to Will came out, I contacted many of these other papers to try to get them to also publish my rebuttal.
I didn’t contact every last paper on my first foray. But I did go for the biggies, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Chicago Tribune, The Detroit News, The Hartford Courant, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The St. Petersburg Times, and The San Jose Mercury News.
I’m pleased to announce that there has been one success so far: On Sunday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution ran a shortened version of the Washington Post piece. See here. There may be some more after this.
I can already tell how it’s going to go, though. Some small number of papers will publish my rebuttal to Will, but it won’t be possible to get all of them to do so. Certainly there is no hope of equaling the original column’s distribution. Too much time has elapsed, too few papers want to run rejoinders, and frankly, I’m not as famous as George Will. Eventually, this project will have diminishing returns, and I’ll give up on it.
There is only so much you can do to set the record straight. But, we soldier on….