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30 November 2016
Little mine in Big Sur: Perpetuating mercury contamination in California’s Central Coast
Wildfires can perpetuate mercury contamination by releasing it from soil and plants and spreading it through smoke and ash. It doesn’t take much heat to convert mercury to a gas.
21 December 2010
Good Scientific Papers 101
We planned for 25 attendees. Then raised it to 35. Then 50. Last week’s luncheon talk on writing a good scientific paper, given at AGU Fall Meeting by Renyi Zhang (an editor of JGR-Atmospheres), was overflowing with attendees!
Dr. Zhang covered everything from what makes a good abstract to how to prepare figures to how to respond to reviewers’ comments. The audience of mostly graduate students and postgrads took lots of notes, asked detailed questions, and enjoyed a good lunch. Their response to the session was so positive that we hope to expand this event next year so there is room for even more people to take the first step toward publication.
20 December 2010
A constant drumbeat to effectively communicate science to the public
The message came from multiple sources: the AGU Council meeting on Sunday, Monday’s Union lecture presented by Obama’s science advisor John Holdren, Michael Oppenheimer’s Stephen Schneider lecture, the many of the natural hazards presentations including Julia Slingo’s Union lecture, book authors, public speakers, senate staffers. The advice was near-universal: Scientists have an obligation to communicate science clearly and effectively to the public.
17 December 2010
Communicating climate change: How to win over the public
An overflowing room of AGU Fall Meeting attendees learned they must lose their jargon and have a clear message to most effectively communicate about climate change science. The Tuesday workshop, organized by AGU’s Public Information Office, featured author Chris Mooney, climate communications trainer Susan Joy Hassol, and climate researcher and professor Richard Somerville.
16 December 2010
Senate staffer gives tips to stop science from becoming politicized
The NRC’s America’s Climate Choices reports released earlier this year can have a greater impact in Congress if discussion about them were to be elevated to the level of committee hearings, according to Kevin J. Rennert, a staffer on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Rennert was one of the speakers in the PA41A: America’s Climate Choices I panel this morning.
In addition, the scientists involved with preparation of these reports need to have one-on-one meetings with senators, Rennert said. “The science has become unbelievably politicized.” However, that “goes away with individual meetings,” he said.
Getting involved in politics might be easier than you think!
Are you interested in the intersection between science and society? Do you know where to get started? Does it seem too time consuming or challenging? Don’t worry: Getting involved in politics might be easier than you think! AGU hosted a lunch workshop on Tuesday entitled “Communicating with Congress” with past AGU Congressional Science Fellow, Karen Wayland. Karen is currently the climate and energy advisor for the Speaker of the House …
15 December 2010
No scientific ideas were seriously harmed in the making of this film
The intrepid, space-traveling astronomer (Contact). The disheveled, hard-working nerdy hero (Independence Day). And the mad scientist fomenting explosions in experimental zeal (Back to the Future). Hollywood embraces all of these scientific archetypes. But what about the reality behind the characters? Science in Hollywood was the focus of Tuesday night’s panel discussion, titled “Hollywood Does (Geo) Science.”
14 December 2010
Lessons from John Holdren’s lecture: Your help is needed!
If the attendance at yesterday’s lecture by John Holdren made anything clear, it’s that scientists are definitely interested in the intersection between science and society. Nearly 2000 attendees at the AGU Fall Meeting came to listen to Dr. Holdren, President Obama’s advisor for science and technology and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House. Holdren spoke about the plethora of societal issues whose solutions …
2 March 2010
A hectic weekend at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center
Brian Shiro is a geophysicist who has been working at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) for over four years. On a normal work day, his tasks go from checking that the warning system works to maintaining the center’s website and working on expanding Hawaii’s seismic network. But last weekend, after a 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Chile and a Pacific-wide tsunami alert was issued for the first time since 1964. …
26 February 2010
The 2-Hour Film School (a non-degree-granting institution)
On Wednesday, ocean scientists turned in their hard hats and field gear at the door for a different hat: filmmaker. Dr. Randy Olson, author of the new book Don’t Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in the Age of Style, led a workshop on science filmmaking. Olson has directed two critically acclaimed films, that took a unique look at science controversies; Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus and Sizzle: …