Grab an air sickness bag, then see this press release:
AGU Board adds new members with expertise in science policy and communication
AGU Release No. 10–39
15 November 2010
For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON—The American Geophysical Union’s board of directors has approved two new members who will bring expertise in science policy and communication: policy advisor Floyd DesChamps and author Chris Mooney. Their selection reflects AGU’s commitment to applying the results of scientific research to challenges faced by the global community, many of which are based in the geosciences.
Floyd DesChamps served as senior advisor on climate change to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee from 1997 to 2009, and was a co-author of the landmark climate bill, the Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act (also called the McCain-Lieberman Climate Change Bill). He is currently a senior vice-president for the Alliance to Save Energy, where he develops the Alliance’s policy initiatives.
DesChamps has degrees in mechanical engineering and engineering management, and previously worked for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Chris Mooney is a journalist and author of Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future (co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum) and “Do Scientists Understand the Public?” a report of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He co-writes a blog with Kirshenbaum called “The Intersection” at Discover magazine which covers science’s interactions with politics and other realms.
Mooney was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2009-2010 and a Templeton-Cambridge Fellow in Science and Religion in 2010.
AGU bylaws authorize appointment of up to two members of the Board in addition to those elected by the membership. President Michael J. McPhaden exercised that option in bringing DesChamps and Mooney to the Board for approval.
“Floyd and Chris will provide expert advice on how to effectively communicate the importance and relevance of Earth and space science to the public and policy makers,” said McPhaden. “We’re really excited about their involvement and what it means for new opportunities to advance AGU’s outreach efforts.”
AGU is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization with more than 58,000 members in over 135 countries. The organization advances the Earth and space sciences through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. AGU is accessible on the Web.
Ok well here’s a few tidbits. Mr. Mooney is neither a scientist nor engineer, but an English major. He’s also just a kid who doesn’t seem to fit in well with this photo line up. In fact, they had to decolorize this photo to make it fit in even slightly.
He’s also an angry activist kid, with a mouthpiece, several actually.
Roger Pielke Jr. says this:
Last week my friend and colleague Dan Sarewitz tossed some red meat out on the table in the form of an essay in Slate on the apparent paucity of Republicans among the US scientific establishment. Sarewitz suggests that it is in the interests f the scientific community both to understand this situation and to seek greater diversity in its ranks, explaining that “the issue here is legitimacy, not literacy.”
Sarewitz’s essay has been followed by predictable responses (1,243 of them at Slate alone). Writing at MIT’s science journalism tracker Paul Raeburn offers this suggestively sinister critique:
And what is Sarewitz’s political affiliation, I wonder?
Since everyone else knows the answer to this, you’d think a journalist might have ways of figuring it out. Similarly sophomoric, Chris Mooney, in his characteristic us vs. them fashion, asks if Sarewitz will be joining the forces of evil:
Would Sarewitz himself like to become a Republican?
AGU recently appointed Chris Mooney to its Board. I am sure that Chris is a fine fellow, but appointing an English major who has written divisively about the “Republican War on Science” to help AGU oversee “science communication” is more than a little ironic, and unlikely to attract many Republican scientists to the institution, perhaps even having the opposite effect.
Yah, ya think?
This comment over on Phil Plait’s blog pretty well sums it up
There is the Ophelia Benson case:
The lockdown and moderation of comments on Mooney’s blog (which had the effect of preventing comments critical of Mooney’s handling of the “Tom Johnson” affair from being posted.)
The sordid “Tom Johnson” affair in which Mooney ran with a sock puppet’s post as evidence for discrimination and general nastiness of scientists toward the religious (all fabricated) Mooney claimed he had “checked” the source out and was legitimate :
(You can wade through the comments if you want evidence of post moderation)
My feelings about Mooney is that based on the evidence I have seen, the negatives outweigh the positives in the “helping science” category. I have no ill-feelings about Mooney personally, and he might be a great guy. But as far as supporting science? Not so much. Ditto with the journalistic ethics.
Here’s the AGU fall meeting, maybe some people that run the outfit will come to their senses there. One can hope. I stopped getting Discover Magazine also as it has gone the way of NatGeo and SciAm. There’s just nothing in these magazines anymore that seems to be free of science politicization.
In fact, my family doesn’t get any magazines anymore, the recycling issue becomes much simpler when you have less glossy waste.
Gotta love AGU’s commitment to warmist science though, they have a rooftop weather station:
Only one problem: