Happy Science/Political News, for a change

Forget taking a day off–this is too exciting!*

I wanted to congratulate Jane Lubchenco on her appointment by President-Elect Obama to be the head of NOAA! Huzzah!

Lubchenco has a great deal of experience in both being a leader and making science more accessible to the public. From her online vita:

“She is Past-President of the International Council for Science and a former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Ecological Society of America ….
Jane founded the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program that teaches outstanding academic environmental scientists to be effective leaders and communicators of scientific information to the public, policy makers, the media and the private sector….
She participated actively in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), a 5-year, international scientific assessment of the consequences of environmental changes to human well-being. Among other things, she co-chaired the MA’s Synthesis for Business and Industry.
Jane is a Founding Principal of COMPASS, the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea, a collaboration among academic scientists, communication and media specialists that communicates academic marine conservation science to policy makers, the media, managers and the public.”

And that is just a tiny excerpt.
This is who should be appointed to leadership positions in science.

It wasn’t that long ago the Bush Administration was getting flack from AAAS for appointing cronies with no science in their background.  And I’m sure everyone remembers this story:

“A senior Bush political appointee at the Interior Department has repeatedly altered scientific field reports to minimize protections for imperiled species and disclosed confidential information to private groups seeking to affect policy decisions, the department’s inspector general concluded….
MacDonald “admitted that her degree is in civil engineering and that she has no formal educational background in natural sciences” but repeatedly instructed Fish and Wildlife scientists to change their recommendations on identifying “critical habitats,” despite her lack of expertise.

Seriously. If you can read that entire story without pulling your hair once, I’ll be very amazed.

I am so excited that not only is Obama choosing practicing scientists, but a scientist I’ve met and know first-hand as a person who understands that COMMUNICATING science to non-scientists is critical.  I’m Very Geeked.

———————

*It nearly makes up for this cluster****.

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