Monday, April 30, 2007

Approval from Department of Commerce Required for Science Communications

The Union of Concerned Scientists has published a very simple review of new Department of Commerce policies regarding the communication of science to the public and has provided links to letters written in protest of these polices and the policy itself.

These are remarkable documents. On the surface, they appear to guarantee the "open dissemination of research results." However, upon closer examination it’s quite clear that scientists are actually required to seek approval from the Department of Commerce for any scientific communication.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Marine Protected Areas (MPA's) Not Growing Fast Enough

Erik Stokstad wrote in today’s Science NOW Daily News that we are not preserving marine biodiversity fast enough. According to Stokstad, Scientists meeting at the World Conservation Union (IUCN) believe we need to accelerate the creation of marine protected areas if we want to preserve marine biodiversity and move towards more sustainable modes of development.

At the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, the signatories of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) agreed that: 10% of the offshore regions controlled by individual countries (economic exclusive zones) and 20% of the world’s oceans would be protected by 2010. But Louisa Wood, a doctoral student at the University of British Columbia, has found that the total protected area would have to double every year for the next three years to meet that goal.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

How Exxon Spent $15 Million to Create Confusion and Dissent in Global Warming Debate

The Union of Concerned Scientists has published an powerful and compelling report on exactly how Exxon spent $15 Million with dozens of shady organizations appearing to produce legitimate science and policy reports in order to discredit the real science behind global warming. It’s 60-some pages but really impressive in its attention to detail.

Most of the report is focused on the elaborate web of organizations, associations, think-tanks and consultancies Exxon has funded to create the impression that there is a large, heterogeneous group of informed scientists who disagree on the basic facts and theory of anthropogenic climate change.  They have documented a deliberate attempt to manufacture a controversy in science when, in fact, there is none.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Einstein on the Difference Between Science and Art

Apparently, Einstein wrote:
"Where the world ceases to be the stage for personal hopes and desires, where we, as free beings, behold it in wonder, to question and to contemplate, there we enter the realm of art and science. If we trace out what we behold and experience through the language of logic, we are doing science; if we show it in forms whose interrelationships are not accessible to our conscious thought but are intuitively recognized as meaningful, we are doing art. Common to both is the devotion to something beyond the personal, removed from the arbitrary."