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14 June 2013

Asteroids and Tsunamis and Space Weather, Oh My!

What are the odds that tomorrow you walk out of your home to see a meteor burning up in Earth’s atmosphere as it hurtles toward our planet at breakneck speed? Luckily, chances are pretty low. But, as evidenced by the recent large fireball – or “superbolide” if you speak Astrophysics – seen by many (and captured by many video cameras) near Chelyabinsk, Russia, this does happen. That relatively small meteor …

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5 June 2013

Global Warming: Public Opinion and Policy

  As a research scientist in Carnegie Mellon University’s interdisciplinary department of Engineering and Public Policy, I field a lot of questions. Perhaps the toughest of those is “How can you sleep at night, when you know your research is influencing policy?  We’re scientists, not advocates!”  Well, shall we pause a moment to consider how our reluctance to talk about policy implications has affected the global warming debate? The scientific …

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30 May 2013

Melting Ice and Burning Questions for the Future

  As the climate changes, so do the impacts on society and the way we prepare for things such as severe weather, rising seas, droughts and wildfires, changing ecosystems, and melting glaciers. Looking at the world through the eye of a camera lens is one way that James Balog has been witnessing the impacts of climate change. One of his most recent works documents melting glaciers at various locations around …

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When Sharing Science with Hurried Policymakers and Reporters, It Pays to be Prepared

  Woodrow Wilson once said, “If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation…if an hour, I am ready now.” Whether talking with policymakers, the press, or the general public, it is essential to have carefully-crafted messages to effectively share a story. And ten minutes is likely far more time than you will ever have. AGU is kicking off the 2013 Science Policy Conference with a …

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