Earth System Governance – Navigating Water in the Anthropocene – IHDP.
The Earth System Governance Project will convene a special session “Earth system governance – navigating water in the anthropocene” at the Water in the Anthropocene: Challenges for Science and Governance Conference. The session will be held Thursday 23 may 2013, 13:30-15:00.
The focus of the conference is to address the global dimensions of water system changes due to anthropogenic as well as natural influences.
The conference will provide the platform to present global and regional perspectives of world wide experiences on the responses of water management to global change in order to address issues such as variability in supply, increasing demands for water, environmental flows, and land use change. It will help to build links between science and policy and practice in the area of water resources management and governance, related institutional and technological innovations and identify in which ways research can assist policy and practice in the field of sustainable freshwater management.
“Scientific discovery is not valuable unless it has commercial value,” John McDougall, president of the NRC, said in announcing the shift in the NRC’s research focus away from discovery science solely to research the government deems “commercially viable”.
via NRC to only pursue ‘commercially viable’ science | Canada | News | Toronto Sun.
Why STEM should care about the humanities
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Toronto, April 16, 2013—
Kira Hamman, The Chronicle of Higher Education
One need not look far these days to find people skeptical (at best) about the value of higher education. Most of these people particularly question the value of a liberal-arts education, which they view as outdated and elitist. Claiming economic pragmatism, they seek the curtailment or even outright elimination of arts and humanities programs. Liberal arts, they say, are a luxury we can no longer afford, because students who study the liberal arts do not develop the skills they need to succeed in the workplace. This is an absurd and entirely unsubstantiated claim that I will not bother to debunk here (for an excellent takedown of this position, see Brian Rosenberg’s January 30 article in the Huffington Post). Still, absurd though it is, those of us in the sciences may think to let the humanities fight their own corner. What does this have to do with us? we may well ask.
And it’s true: You never hear politicians questioning the value of STEM education. Sure, students may complain about the chemistry class they’re required to take, and everyone loves to hate developmental math, but on a fundamental level most people accept that STEM courses belong in the undergraduate curriculum. People in mathematics, my discipline, are fond of complaining about teaching so-called service courses, but the truth is that we have a kind of job security our colleagues in the humanities could envy. Even the most hardcore of anti-intellectual politicians does not dispute the utility of mathematics, or the necessity of both teaching and learning it. So we’re safe, right? Why should we stick our necks out protecting drama, or music, or women’s studies? Three reasons.
via Council of Ontario Universities – University Success Stories.
Waiser wrote two scientific papers for Environment Canada that were published in 2011 that looked at chemical pollutants (such as phosporus and ammonia) and pharmaceuticals (such as trace antibiotics) in Wascana Creek.
Both kinds of pollution were found downstream of the Regina sewage treatment plant west of the city.
Waiser says when CBC contacted her to talk about the research, Environment Canada higher-ups lowered the boom.
‘One of the first things they said after reading the two papers on Wascana Creek is that they didn’t want to upset the City of Regina.’
—Retired federal scientist Marley Waiser
“One of the first things they said after reading the two papers on Wascana Creek is that they didn’t want to upset the City of Regina,” she said.
Waiser was told that she needed media training before she could talk to reporters about her research.
via Saskatoon scientist breaks silence about muzzling – Saskatchewan – CBC News.