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Reflections from Colorado
The Barren Promise of Genetic Engineering
In 2001 the Human Genome Project announced that it had successfully mapped the entire genetic content of human DNA. Scientists, politicians, theologians, and pundits speculated about what would follow, conjuring everything from nightmare scenarios of state-controlled eugenics to the hope of engineering disease-resistant newborns. As with debates surrounding stem-cell research, the seemingly endless possibilities of genetic engineering will continue to influence public opinion and policy into the foreseeable future. Beyond Biotechnology: The Barren Promise of Genetic Engineering distinguishes between the hype and reality of this technology and explains the nuanced and delicate relationship between science and nature. Authors Craig Holdrege and Steve Talbott evaluate the current state of genetic science and examine its potential applications, particularly in agriculture and medicine, as well as the possible dangers. The authors show how the popular view of genetics does not include an understanding of the ways in which genes actually work together in organisms. Simplistic and reductionist views of genes lead to unrealistic expectations and, ultimately, disappointment in the results that genetic engineering actually delivers. The authors explore new developments in genetics, from the discovery of “non-Darwinian” adaptative mutations in bacteria to evidence that suggests that organisms are far more than mere collections of genetically driven mechanisms. While examining these issues, the authors also answer vital questions that get to the essence of genetic interaction with human biology: Does DNA “manage” an organism any more than the organism manages its DNA? Should genetically engineered products be labeled as such? Do the methods of the genetic engineer resemble the centuries-old practices of animal husbandry? Written for lay readers, Beyond Biotechnology is an accessible introduction to the complicated issues of genetic engineering and its potential applications. In the unexplored space between nature and laboratory, a new science is waiting to emerge. Technology-based social and environmental solutions will remain tenuous and at risk of reversal as long as our culture is alienated from the plants and animals on which all life depends.
Developing Data-Based Information Policy Strategies
After broadband access, what next? What role do metrics play in understanding “information societies”? And, more importantly, in shaping their policies? Beyond counting people with broadband access, how can economic and social metrics inform broadband policies, help evaluate their outcomes, and create useful models for achieving national goals? Broadly described, this book addresses those questions. Information metrics are important, and often political. For example, what does it mean that one economy is ranked higher than another on a list of some e-measure? Any deeper understanding of a complex, multi-dimensional set of variables based on extensive data is lost in an international game of “we’re better than you are” or asking “how can we catch up?” While there is broad international consensus that policy decisions are improved if they are informed by empirical data, there is no accepted standard as to which data matters. Many possible information indicators have been measured. But standing alone, what do they tell us? Which ones are important? Does their selection predetermine certain outcomes? Can they be transformed into truly useful policy tools? How do we know which data to collect, unless there are identified goals? This book is divided into two parts – the first deals with theoretical aspects of measuring information and the issues that should be taken into consideration when designing broadband-focused information policy; while the second demonstrates how data has been both used and abused for argumentation purposes with regards to choices among different policy paths.
The Branching of a Paradigm
Cladistics, or phylogenetic systematics—an approach to discovering, unraveling, and testing hypotheses of evolutionary history—took hold during a turbulent and acrimonious time in the history of systematics. During this period—the 1960s and 1970s—much of the foundation of modern systematic methodology was established as cladistic approaches became widely accepted. Virtually complete by the end of the 1980s, the wide perception has been that little has changed. This volume vividly illustrates that cladistic methodologies have continued to be developed, improved upon, and effectively used in ever widening analytically imaginative ways.
Fulfilling the Promise
Gaylord Nelson is known and respected throughout the world as a founding father of the modern environmental movement and creator of one of the most successful and influential public awareness campaigns ever undertaken on behalf of global stewardship: Earth Day.
Now in his eighties, Nelson delivers a timely and urgent message with the same eloquence with which he has articulated the nation’s environmental ills through the decades. He details the planet’s most critical concerns—from species and habitat losses to global climate changes and population growth. In outlining his strategy for planetary health, he inspires citizens to reassert the environment as a top priority.
A book for anyone who cares deeply about our environment and wants to know what we can and must do now to save it, Beyond Earth Day is a classic guide by one of the natural world’s great defenders.
U.S. Science Policy in the Twenty-First Century
Science and technology are responsible for almost every advance in our modern quality of life. Yet science isn't just about laboratories, telescopes and particle accelerators. Public policy exerts a huge impact on how the scientific community conducts its work. Beyond Sputnik is a comprehensive survey of the field for use as an introductory textbook in courses and a reference guide for legislators, scientists, journalists, and advocates seeking to understand the science policy-making process. Detailed case studies---on topics from cloning and stem cell research to homeland security and science education---offer readers the opportunity to study real instances of policymaking at work. Authors and experts Homer A. Neal, Tobin L. Smith, and Jennifer B. McCormick propose practical ways to implement sound public policy in science and technology and highlight how these policies will guide the results of scientific discovery for years to come. Homer A. Neal is the Samuel A. Goudsmit Distinguished University Professor of Physics, Interim President Emeritus, and Vice President for Research Emeritus at the University of Michigan, and is a former member of the U.S. National Science Board. Tobin L. Smith is Associate Vice President for Federal Relations at the Association of American Universities. He was formerly Assistant Director of the University of Michigan and MIT Washington, DC, offices. Jennifer B. McCormick is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Ethics in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Mayo College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, and is the Associate Director of the Research Ethics Resource, part of the Mayo Clinic's NIH Clinical Translational Science Award research programs. GO BEYOND SPUTNIK ONLINE--Visit www.science-policy.net for the latest news, teaching resources, learning guides, and internship opportunities in the 21st-Century field of science policy. "Beyond Sputnik is a readable, concise, yet remarkably comprehensive introduction to contemporary science policy. It is devoid of 'wonkishness' yet serves the needs of policymakers and students alike. Because science and technology policy is of central importance in the twenty-first century this accessible volume is a godsend." ---Charles M. Vest, President of the National Academy of Engineering and Vice Chair of the National Research Council of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering "This highly researched book is a treasure trove for anyone concerned with science policy relating to such challenges as providing energy, preserving the environment, assuring healthcare, creating jobs, and more." ---Norman Augustine, retired Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation and recipient of the 2008 Vannevar Bush Award from the National Science Board "Science policy is a subject of growing importance in the United States, yet there has long been a vacuum among textbooks in the field. Beyond Sputnik fills it splendidly and will be greeted with enthusiasm by students and faculty alike. Even those who have practiced the art for years will learn from it." ---Albert Teich, Director of Science and Policy Programs at the American Association for the Advancement of Science "Homer A. Neal, Tobin L. Smith, and Jennifer B. McCormick have written a landmark work calling for a national effort to restore our nation's power in the fields of science, energy, and education, as we did in the remarkable year following Sputnik. The next preident should read Beyond Sputnik and accept this call to action as did President Eisenhower." ---Ambassador David M. Abshire, President of the Center for the Study of the Presidency, Cofounder and Vice Chairman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and President of the Richard Lounsbery Foundation "At last we have a text that tells the story from where A. Hunter Dupree left off; an excellent core text for courses in science and technology policy, DC policymakers, and anyone who needs to get up to speed in the field . . . The book that we have all been waiting for." ---Christopher T. Hill, Professor of Public Policy and Technology, George Mason University
The Story of Maritime Michigan
Beyond the Windswept Dunes takes the reader into a world of maritime adventure as it was experienced by the sailors, passengers, rescue workers, shipping magnates, industrialists, and many other people whose livelihoods revolved around Michigan’s port city of Muskegon. At one time the leading edge of westward expansion, Muskegon was a place where lumbering and lakers merged and where rails met decks, a place situated midway along the coast of a great and sometimes stormy inland sea. Here Elizabeth Sherman offers both a shipping history and a portrait of the city. The events covered range from the visit by the British sloop H.M.S. Felicity in 1779 through Muskegon’s boom years as "Lumber Queen of the World," from the city’s revitalization with the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway to its recent establishment of a floating museum complex for historic naval vessels. The book’s focus is on the ships themselves—such as the Lyman M. Davis, Salvor, Highway 16, and Milwaukee Clipper—vessels that were noteworthy for being the first of their kind or for their popularity, unusual and distinctive careers, or tragic losses. A number of ships were lost in Lake Michigan near Muskegon Harbor, and the stories of some of the most notable wrecks and rescue missions appear in this book, including the psychic intervention that led the William Nelson to the exciting rescue of the crew aboard the sinking Our Son. The book offers many first-hand statements of shipwreck survivors and other witnesses, lending an authentic voice to the accounts.