Archive for September 17th, 2010


By Sheril Kirshenbaum | September 17, 2010 3:25 pm

Picture 3

Credit: Mike Luckovich (H/T Miles Grant)

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture, Global Warming
MORE ABOUT: Mike Luckovich

A War on Science in Canada?

By Chris Mooney | September 17, 2010 1:40 pm

See here. This story sounds strikingly like the Bush administration–only, it’s the Canadian Harper government:

“We have new media interview procedures that require pre-approval of certain types of interview requests by the minister’s office,” wrote Judy Samoil, NRCan’s western regional communications manager, in a March 24 email to colleagues.

The policy applies to “high-profile” issues such as “climate change, oilsands” and when “the reporter is with an international or national media organization (such as the CBC or the Canwest paper chain),” she wrote.

Samoil later elaborated, saying “the regional communications managers were advised of this change a couple of weeks ago.”

The documents show the new rules being so broadly applied that one scientist was not permitted to discuss a study in a major research journal without “pre-approval” from political staff in Paradis’ office.

And on it goes. The story quotes top Canadian climate scientist Andrew Weaver:

“The sad reality is that these guys in Ottawa think federal scientists work for them,” says Weaver. “They don’t, they work for the people of Canada.

“This is science funded by Canada for the public good,” he says. “It is not science funded to produce briefing notes for ministers so they can get elected in the next federal campaign.”

Our northern friends usually have saner politics than ours, I tend to think–but this is not one of those occasions.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Politics and Science

The Coming Week

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | September 17, 2010 9:47 am shaping up to be quite busy, fascinating, and a lot of fun.

On Monday I’ll fly to New York to attend the Clinton Global Initiative. Last night Bill Clinton visited The Daily Show to talk about politics, American skepticism, and suggest the least expensive and fastest way to improve the economy and decrease unemployment:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive – Bill Clinton Extended Interview Pt. 1
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Next I’m headed to DC to moderate Thursday’s L’Oreal/Discover Capitol Hill panel on women in science. Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

Congressional briefing explores the issues and opportunities

“The contributions of female scientists are critical to U.S. advancements in science and economic growth,” said Frédéric Rozé, President and Chief Executive Officer of L’Oréal USA. “By convening this congressional briefing, L’Oréal USA hopes to renew national dialogue about breaking barriers and forging new paths for women in science.”

Panelists include:

  • Russlynn Ali, Assistant Secretary, Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
  • Dr. Shirley Malcom, Head of Education and Human Resources, American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Pr. Joan Steitz, Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University
  • Pr. Sara Seager, Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Planetary Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Sheril Kirshenbaum, Author of Unscientific America and Science Blogger for (Moderator)

With travel, posting may be light at times, but I’ll be sharing details from both events here at The Intersection and via twitter (hashtag #CGI2010).

Hurricane Karl Goes Haywire

By Chris Mooney | September 17, 2010 6:36 am

533px-Hurricane_Karl_2010-09-16_1720Z (1)This storm had barely a day over the warm Bay of Campeche, but that was enough. Hurricane Karl has rapidly intensified and may strike Quintana Roo later today as a Category 4–the 5th of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. Indeed, that’s the official forecast as of now.

There have only been 6 hurricanes so far this year–and 5 of them have been Category 3 or higher.

There are also three hurricanes in the Atlantic right now, at this very moment–itself quite a rare occurrence.

This season is really shaping up to be something after all, and we need to count our blessings that we have not had a storm come into the Gulf of Mexico since June–on many, many levels.


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