Update on my meetings in D.C.

Had some terrific meetings in D.C. on Monday. Then I got slammed with a 24-hour virus (courtesy of my kids). Met the CEO of Discover, Henry Donahue, for coffee. (SO nice and very smart).

 Then met with Newt Gingrich and Rita Colwell to brainstorm tactics on behalf of the Science Debate team. (Talk about brain power–them, not me). Picture on left was taken in the late 90s when I met Newt through the Discover Technology Awards (a program I directed back when Disney owned Discover).

 Then, met with a dynamic and eclectic group interested in reopening the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. Yes, I realize the irony (Newt shut down the Office of Tech Assessment as part of the Contract with America in 1995.) Read the summary notes and consider joining our cause here.

Here’s what I recently sent to the Facebook team (may sound Greek without the history and context you will find on the Facebook page: “hey, hey Open the OTA with citizen input!”:

Mtg on Monday in D.C. went well. Created a draft action plan. Feedback/insight appreciated. Want to help with the following? Jump in! Am I off-track? Tell me.
1. Craft 1-page summary of technologies a new OTA can use to inform and solicit input from the public on key science policy issues. (the “new” news)
2. Create 1-page overview of which public participation models work best (U.S. and international examples; some tied to government agencies)
3. ID key members of Congress we should approach; how to gain their support? ID those most likely to oppose. Summarize recent efforts to reopen OTA (why they failed; how Obama’s team can help; Pelosi’s role)
4.Develop top 25 scipolicy issues a new OTA could examine today.
5. Frame the pitch to appropriate funds terms of Congress needing a resource to balance President’s massive qty of science advice and ability to connect w/people.

  • Peteie Yaubuts

    Look at that pic of her. Not only smart, but good looking!!…Must have got it from her dad !!

  • Peteie Yaubuts

    Look at that pic of her. Not only smart, but good looking!!…Must have got it from her dad !!

  • JT Lewis

    Science Cheerleader Goes to Washington–just like in a Frank Capra meeting! Looks like all your hard work is having an impact:

    See Dennis Overbye’s excellent essay in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/27/science/27essa.html

    “When Barack Obama proclaimed during his Inaugural Address that he would “restore science to its rightful place,” you could feel a dark cloud lifting like a sigh from the shoulders of the scientific community in this country…it is no coincidence that (scientific debate involves) the same qualities that make for democracy and that they arose as a collective behavior about the same time that parliamentary democracies were appearing. If there is anything democracy requires and thrives on, it is the willingness to embrace debate and respect one another and the freedom to shun received wisdom. Science and democracy have always been twins.”

  • JT Lewis

    Science Cheerleader Goes to Washington–just like in a Frank Capra meeting! Looks like all your hard work is having an impact:

    See Dennis Overbye’s excellent essay in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/27/science/27essa.html

    “When Barack Obama proclaimed during his Inaugural Address that he would “restore science to its rightful place,” you could feel a dark cloud lifting like a sigh from the shoulders of the scientific community in this country…it is no coincidence that (scientific debate involves) the same qualities that make for democracy and that they arose as a collective behavior about the same time that parliamentary democracies were appearing. If there is anything democracy requires and thrives on, it is the willingness to embrace debate and respect one another and the freedom to shun received wisdom. Science and democracy have always been twins.”

  • JT Lewis

    Hey Science Cheerleader, Check out the Science Superbowl!

    “From angles and acceleration to speed and centers of gravity, players might not understand the physics of tackling, but they know how to wield it.” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/31/sports/football/31hit.html?ref=science

    Proving once again that science literacy is for everyone.

  • JT Lewis

    Hey Science Cheerleader, Check out the Science Superbowl!

    “From angles and acceleration to speed and centers of gravity, players might not understand the physics of tackling, but they know how to wield it.” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/31/sports/football/31hit.html?ref=science

    Proving once again that science literacy is for everyone.

  • bruce brown

    Google Earth, Google Ocean: mysteries of the seafloor are mapped for the first time
    • Program expanded to take in vast, unknown depths
    • Data will add to awareness of climate change says firm
    Bobbie Johnson in San Francisco
    guardian.co.uk, Sunday 1 February 2009 21.30 GMT
    Article history

    Google Earth fills in its watery blanks. Users can explore the sea bed, data on the changing oceans, sea-life and even the best surf spots Link to this video
    Since Google Earth launched in 2006 millions of people have used its virtual globe to “travel” around the planet without leaving home, climbing a digital version of Mount Everest and even flying into space thanks to the program.

    Now the internet company plans to take on one of the last bastions of the unknown: the depths of the ocean.

    At a high-profile event in San Francisco, Google is expected to announce the addition of vast amounts of underwater imagery and seabed maps to the Google Earth project.

    The move will take Google Earth closer to its aim of creating a complete digital representation of the planet.

    The existing site, to which an estimated 400 million people have had access, already includes three-dimensional representations of large cities around the world and includes images from street-level and aerial photo graphy covering thousands of miles across Britain and elsewhere.

    The new additions to the program are expected to include views of the ocean, and portions of the seabed. They will also provide detailed environmental data that will enhance information about the effect of climate change on the world’s seas and oceans.

    To showcase the transformation, the site’s chief executive, Eric Schmidt, will introduce dignitaries including the former US vice president and environmental campaigner Al Gore, and the veteran ocean ographer Sylvia Earle, who is an “explorer-in-residence” at National Geographic.

    Although, so far, there has been only limited data collected about the sea floor, with just 10% of the habitat mapped at any useful scale for science, bathymetry experts said that the public’s ability to “interact” with the oceans and gain better understanding, as well as see the evidence of global warming, could have quite an impact on perceptions.

    “This is the part that’s really exciting, for me: people will understand that we know almost nothing about a lot of these places, and Google will do it for us,” said David Sandwell, professor of geophysics at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, at the University of California, San Diego. “There are big voids everywhere, but there are a few little spots where we know quite a lot.”

    The inclusion of environmental information forms the latest part of the company’s plan to offer the public more data about climate change. In 2007 Google convened a high-level meeting of experts to help it develop sources of submarine information and environmental data. It seems likely that the company will later unveil partnerships with institutions in Europe and the US as part of the project.

    “It’s a really useful tool for scientists, to [be able to] share data on the oceans,” said Sandwell. “For me, it’s the detailed global tectonic structure of the sea floor … if you’re a physical oceanographer, the important thing is that the currents and tides are affected by things that stick up from the sea floor.”

    The development has a less serious side, however. It is also believed people using the site will get the chance to take a virtual dip at some of the world’s most famous diving spots, including at sites in the Bahamas, the Red Sea and the Great Barrier Reef.

    Despite the project’s long gestation, speculation about the precise details has grown since Google announced it would be holding the event. Many observers said they were hoping for something spect­acular. “I don’t think this announcement will be confined to just Google Ocean,” wrote Frank Taylor, who catalogues the development of Google Earth at gearthblog.com. “When Google makes an announcement like this, they always try to push the envelope on multiple fronts. And, with Al Gore headlining the event, I’m sure we’re going to get some data about the environment.”

    The new system could potentially be combined with another program to let people “virtually” move about anywhere in the world.

    At the Macworld Expo in January, Google engineers unveiled a program called EarthSurfer, which combined Google Earth with Nintendo’s Wii Fit to create an exercise game that allows players movement “around the landscape” by way of balancing on a board. “You control it by leaning forward to go forward, and back to go back,” said David Oster, the EarthSurfer programmer on the project at the time. “It’s great stuff.”

    • This article was amended on Tuesday 3 February 2009. David Sandwell is professor at the University of California, San Diego, not the University of San Diego and Google Earth is a program rather than a website. This has been corrected.

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  • bruce brown

    Google Earth, Google Ocean: mysteries of the seafloor are mapped for the first time
    • Program expanded to take in vast, unknown depths
    • Data will add to awareness of climate change says firm
    Bobbie Johnson in San Francisco
    guardian.co.uk, Sunday 1 February 2009 21.30 GMT
    Article history

    Google Earth fills in its watery blanks. Users can explore the sea bed, data on the changing oceans, sea-life and even the best surf spots Link to this video
    Since Google Earth launched in 2006 millions of people have used its virtual globe to “travel” around the planet without leaving home, climbing a digital version of Mount Everest and even flying into space thanks to the program.

    Now the internet company plans to take on one of the last bastions of the unknown: the depths of the ocean.

    At a high-profile event in San Francisco, Google is expected to announce the addition of vast amounts of underwater imagery and seabed maps to the Google Earth project.

    The move will take Google Earth closer to its aim of creating a complete digital representation of the planet.

    The existing site, to which an estimated 400 million people have had access, already includes three-dimensional representations of large cities around the world and includes images from street-level and aerial photo graphy covering thousands of miles across Britain and elsewhere.

    The new additions to the program are expected to include views of the ocean, and portions of the seabed. They will also provide detailed environmental data that will enhance information about the effect of climate change on the world’s seas and oceans.

    To showcase the transformation, the site’s chief executive, Eric Schmidt, will introduce dignitaries including the former US vice president and environmental campaigner Al Gore, and the veteran ocean ographer Sylvia Earle, who is an “explorer-in-residence” at National Geographic.

    Although, so far, there has been only limited data collected about the sea floor, with just 10% of the habitat mapped at any useful scale for science, bathymetry experts said that the public’s ability to “interact” with the oceans and gain better understanding, as well as see the evidence of global warming, could have quite an impact on perceptions.

    “This is the part that’s really exciting, for me: people will understand that we know almost nothing about a lot of these places, and Google will do it for us,” said David Sandwell, professor of geophysics at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, at the University of California, San Diego. “There are big voids everywhere, but there are a few little spots where we know quite a lot.”

    The inclusion of environmental information forms the latest part of the company’s plan to offer the public more data about climate change. In 2007 Google convened a high-level meeting of experts to help it develop sources of submarine information and environmental data. It seems likely that the company will later unveil partnerships with institutions in Europe and the US as part of the project.

    “It’s a really useful tool for scientists, to [be able to] share data on the oceans,” said Sandwell. “For me, it’s the detailed global tectonic structure of the sea floor … if you’re a physical oceanographer, the important thing is that the currents and tides are affected by things that stick up from the sea floor.”

    The development has a less serious side, however. It is also believed people using the site will get the chance to take a virtual dip at some of the world’s most famous diving spots, including at sites in the Bahamas, the Red Sea and the Great Barrier Reef.

    Despite the project’s long gestation, speculation about the precise details has grown since Google announced it would be holding the event. Many observers said they were hoping for something spect­acular. “I don’t think this announcement will be confined to just Google Ocean,” wrote Frank Taylor, who catalogues the development of Google Earth at gearthblog.com. “When Google makes an announcement like this, they always try to push the envelope on multiple fronts. And, with Al Gore headlining the event, I’m sure we’re going to get some data about the environment.”

    The new system could potentially be combined with another program to let people “virtually” move about anywhere in the world.

    At the Macworld Expo in January, Google engineers unveiled a program called EarthSurfer, which combined Google Earth with Nintendo’s Wii Fit to create an exercise game that allows players movement “around the landscape” by way of balancing on a board. “You control it by leaning forward to go forward, and back to go back,” said David Oster, the EarthSurfer programmer on the project at the time. “It’s great stuff.”

    • This article was amended on Tuesday 3 February 2009. David Sandwell is professor at the University of California, San Diego, not the University of San Diego and Google Earth is a program rather than a website. This has been corrected.

    larger | smaller
    Technology
    Google · Internet
    Science
    Climate change
    Business
    Google
    Environment
    Climate change
    More news

    Google Earth drops into the oceans
    New project allows users to examine wildlife, mountains, shipwrecks and environmental changes

    Arctic in danger: Pen Hadow heads for North Pole to establish the facts
    The British polar explorer and author explains how his latest expedition to the North Pole to gauge the thickness of the ice and snow can be followed on Google Earth
    Google Earth: exploring the oceans and Mars
    Ocean in Google Earth is a new feature that enables users to dive beneath the water surface and explore the world’s Oceans

    Google Earth takes a dive under the ocean
    Web users can now ‘virtually’ visit the world’s protected underwater landscapes with a new Google Earth tool
    Related
    31 Jan 2009
    Google blacklists entire internet

    22 Jan 2009
    Internet giant Google bucks trend in posting increased revenues

    17 Sep 2008
    EU steps into row over Google ads deal with Yahoo

    15 May 2008
    Interview with executive vice-president of Yahoo, Ash Patel

    Printable version Send to a friend Share Clip Contact us Article history
    Ads by Google

    Satellite Earth
    Instant Access to Maps & Directions with the Free and Easy Maps Toolbar
    Maps.alottoolbars.com
    Local Marine Surveyors
    Dependable & Honest Serivce. Master Supreme Marine Surveyor!
    http://www.AllSonsMarineSurveyor.com
    Artery Clearing Secret
    Hugh Downs reports on breakthrough from Nobel Prize Winning Doctor
    http://www.bottomlinesecrets.com

    Most viewed on guardian.co.uk

    24 hours 7 days Most talked about
    1.Analysis: How world leaders view Iran’s space ambitions
    2.Carol Thatcher faces BBC ban over ‘golliwog’ remark
    3.Porn interrupts Super Bowl TV coverage
    4.Stuart Jeffries: London’s day of innocence
    5.The day the snow came – and Britain stopped
    More top stories
    Gadgets from the Guardian shop

    Paint Runner
    A revolution in paint rolling: no more bending down to charge the roller or balancing with a tray on a ladder!
    From: £29.99

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    Find a car

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    New vehicle search

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    Include pre-registered vehicles

    Free P&P at the Guardian bookshop

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    Browse more science and nature books
    Buy books from the Guardian Bookshop

    UK USA

    Account Director – Training & Consultancy – Ne…
    Formula-Won Recruitment. Based In South West London With Offices Around The…. £40-50k + comm..
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    Technology
    Google · Internet
    Science
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    Environment
    Climate change

    Google Earth takes the plunge
    2 Feb 2009:
    Google Earth fills in its watery blanks. Users can explore the sea bed, data on the changing oceans, sea-life and even the best surf spots
    More video
    15 Apr 2008
    Tech Weekly podcast: Living with robots and the war against filesharing

    4 Mar 2008
    Tech Weekly podcast: Online safety and artificially intelligent search

    11 Feb 2008
    Pocket battleships v pipes in the air: mobile players vie for $600bn prize

    4 Feb 2008
    Google cries foul over Microsoft’s Yahoo bid

    Google – 10 years in pictures
    4 Sep 2008: This weekend Google celebrates its official 10th birthday. We look back at the company’s last 10 years – in pictures
    More galleries
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