Category Archives: Uncategorized

Stream-of-consciousness: flowing from remembering Francis Bretherton, to end-use climate assessment, to Paul Robeson.

stream of consciousness: a narrative mode or method that attempts “to depict the multitudinous thoughts and feelings which [sic] pass through the mind” of a narrator. When I was in high school, my English teachers introduced me to this notion and terminology, … Continue reading

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Francis Bretherton, 1935-2021

The Earth sciences community lost one of its most luminous, influential lights on June 27th, with the passing of Francis Bretherton. The Webster-Kirkwood Times, a newspaper from the area near St. Louis where he had lived out his final years, … Continue reading

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Tooth, Tail, and Territory? Relationships among the three are as vital to innovation as they are to military conflict

[a great societal] “challenge, a development problem, is the widening gap between advancing scientific knowledge and technology and society’s ability to capture and use them.” – The International Council for Science[1]. A year ago a friend, Ryan Baker, earned his doctorate … Continue reading

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Observing Hang-together Day – July 5

“We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” – Benjamin Franklin (on occasion of the signing of the Declaration of Independence) The hot dogs, burgers, and potato salads, and ice cream have been consumed. So … Continue reading

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Policy nous: the superpower you use to harness your science to “the benefit of life.”

“Lastly, I would address one general admonition to all — that they consider what are the true ends of knowledge, and that they seek it not either for pleasure of the mind, or for contention, or for superiority to others, … Continue reading

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(Additional) reflections on geoengineering.

The recent NASEM report on geoengineering prompted some discussion yesterday on our daily AMS Policy Program call. One of my office mates made a couple of observations: Re “geo-engineering-has-always-been-with-us:” Bill, if that’s true, then in addition to looking at solar … Continue reading

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Reflection (and reflecting sunlight): part and parcel of humanity’s critical infrastructure.

“The U.S. solar geoengineering research program should be all about helping society make more informed decisions.” – Christopher Field Reflection is a uniquely human trait, or nearly so; some might say it is one of our species’ best and most … Continue reading

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The right kind of national conversation.

“Leaders spend 80% of their time on problems, and 20% of their time on opportunities. They should reverse that ratio.” [1] The Pareto principle (or more informally, “the 80-20 rule”) has been around for a long time, though not always … Continue reading

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It takes a village.

Omwana takulila nju emoi – Lunyoro/Bunyoro proverb[1] The February 27th edition of The Economist carried a short article entitled “Covid-19: How British science came to the rescue.” The piece acknowledges Britain’s belated scientific and political response at the pandemic’s onset, … Continue reading

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Remedial reading, and (noting the season), a regifting of the same: Beyond Persuasion: A Proposal for Invitational Rhetoric.

A week or so ago, had the pleasure to be interviewed as part of a survey conducted by Ioanna Cionea, an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma. At the session’s end, when I discovered that professor Cionea did research … Continue reading

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