Go to Google Images and search for “science.” What are the results? More than likely, the search will come up with beakers, protons, lab coats, double helixes, pulsars, microscopes and perhaps a smattering of trees and images of the globe. Photographs of researchers boot-high in streams collecting samples, for instance, or of a Cayman Island blue iguana in its natural habitat, would probably be few and far between. But images such as these—which show an aspect of the biological sciences, environmental processes or a subject of ecological research—rarely show up, even though they are of course also science.
When was the last time you sat down after dinner to watch the local news? How about the last time you forwarded or received a link to a news story? Odds are, with the prevalence of social networking, blogs and email, you probably sent or received news in some form during your lunch break this afternoon. In fact, just by reading this post you are providing evidence that consumers tend to prefer cherry picking news throughout the day, rather than replenishing their news supply all at once.
Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy News by ESA’s Science Policy Analyst, Terence Houston.
More than 150 scientists are meeting today with federal officials at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge to discuss and coordinate the federal response to the Deep Horizon oil leak. The one-day meeting, hosted by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership and sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Coast Guard, is being “led by non-Federal scientists to discuss the urgent issues involved with both short-term response actions for the spill and long-term monitoring of the environmental and human health impacts,” according to an Ocean Leadership press release.
As volunteers train and policymakers debate, scientists are pooling their datasets for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It is the behind the scenes portion of region-wide preparations for the impending arrival of oil on land. Along the Gulf coast states, researchers are offering years of sediment, water and plankton samples to the cause of assessing pre-impact conditions in the Gulf. Meanwhile, researchers from the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology (NIUST) are collecting samples from the seafloor and water column closer to the source of the leaks.