The Bridge: Connecting Science and Policy

Science Shutdown

  Today, 1 October 2013 marks the first shutdown of the United States’ Federal government since 1995. Unlike in 1995, zero appropriations bills have been passed for the current fiscal year. As a result, the effect of the shutdown will be much larger – more than 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed and numerous federally-funded […]

Resilient Communities Move Forward with the Help of Science

September marks the 10th annual National Preparedness Month. The President, FEMA, and disaster organizations encourage communities to prepare for and become more resilient to emergencies. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate recognizes that preparedness seems difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. “Preparedness is more about a state of mind than a stack of supplies,” he suggested during a recent […]

Lessons of Volcanic Eruptions

  Volcanic eruptions are the most important natural cause of climate change, and they teach us many lessons about the climate system.  The cooling Earth experiences for a couple years after a big volcanic eruption, like that of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, helps us calibrate the amount of warming we will suffer in the future […]

A Policymaker Walks Into The Forest…

A recurring challenge for scientists talking to policymakers is finding the match between the details that the scientist focuses on and understands, and the details that the policymaker needs to make their decisions. I often see scientists struggling to calibrate their message to the right level of specificity. Missing the mark on this can kill […]

Accomplishments and Future Needs of Science in the United States

The first full day of the 2013 AGU Science Policy Conference, on 25 June, began with a plenary session that provided a frame for discussions throughout the day. The plenary session, Preparing for Our Future: The Value of Science, not only elucidated the myriad of economic and societal contributions of science in the United States, […]

AGU Science Policy Conference as a Call to Action for Research Community

  For the American Geophysical Union, fitting a conference on “science policy” into a two-day span is no small feat. Compare that to the Fall Meeting in December where just the “science” alone stretches out across an entire week, with over 800 science-focused sessions already registered for the 2013 meeting (note: I am leaving out […]

Making Scientists into Scientific Spokespeople

  How would you bring up scientific funding if you bumped into your senator while he’s buying cheese and cured meats at the local market? How about getting a stranger interested in safer alternatives to lead-based welding solder? Communicating science to lawmakers and laypersons is important, but scientists too often get tongue-tied talking with everyday […]

Placing a Value on Science

  The first plenary session of the 2013 AGU Science Policy Conference, Preparing for Our Future: The Value of Science, will be a discussion about the importance of science at a pressing time. Many interesting and significant science issues are presently in the news. President Obama’s proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2014 includes a reorganization […]

Why Is It Important for Science and Policy to Be Connected?

From climate change to energy and water needs and the impacts from natural hazards, the challenges we face are growing more and more complex and the need for sustainable solutions more and more urgent. History tells us that scientific research and development can play an important role in solving these challenges, and in serving as […]

Science Policy Conference: ARCUS Arctic Forum Highlights Interagency Collaboration

The Arctic Forum track organized by the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) for the AGU Science Policy Conference will focus on interagency collaboration for arctic change research in the United States. Comprised of three sessions, all moderated by Dr. Brendan P. Kelly (Assistant Director for Polar Science, Office of Science and Technology Policy, […]