ESWN Currents | May 2018

ESWN Newsmakers

Katharine Hayhoe wins Award For Outstanding Climate Science Communication

Jurors for this award called Dr. Hayhoe “a unique voice in the climate communication world… able to reach audiences that other climate scientists have not been able to reach.” In her acceptance statement, Hayhoe expressed appreciation for recognition of “communication and outreach — which is often the least respected part of any scientist’s job description”. The award was presented by Climate One, a project of The Commonwealth Club of California, in honor of the late Stephen Schneider, noted scientist and communicator.

Dr. Katharine Hayhoe

Dr. Alexandra Witze

Alexandra Witze receives Science Journalism Award

The Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award for distinguished popular science writing was presented to Alexandra Witze for her article “Next Stop, Mars” in the January 19, 2017, issue of Nature. Witze’s article details the search for life on Mars involving a “treasure hunt” of a scheduled 2020 NASA mission for a rover to collect rock samples as well as information on their geological context.

ADVANCEGeo Program Initiated to Help Curb Sexual Harrassment

Erika Marin-Spiotta published a piece in the journal Nature about a newly conceived program called ADVANCEGeo designed to curb the widespread problem of sexual harrassment in the geosciences. Marin-Spiotta writes, “The project equips bystanders to respond to and prevent harassment in the field, lab, office and at conferences, and advocates for inclusion of the subject in courses on ethical research conduct.” Harassment should count as scientific misconduct.

Dr. Erika Marin-Spiotta

Media Round-Up

A Washington Post story revealed how three African-American teen finalists in a NASA-run science competition were apparently the target of a racist smear campaign designed to cost them the competition. The resulting media attention is creating a focal point for issues of under-representation of women and minorities in STEM fields. One of the teen contestants commented, ““The popular norm is sports and modeling and advertising. [We want] people to see our faces, and see we’re just regular girls, and we want to be scientists.”

finalists in a NASA youth science competition. (Evelyn Hockstein/for The Washington Post)

Members praised the opinion piece published in Inside Higher Ed for its defense of women who “let go of what is not working…try new things…listen to others without feeling threatened, and [have] the courage to be leaders when needed”.  


Though many are acquainted with the name of John Tyndall, they may be unaware of the name of Eunice Newton Foote. In 1856 Foote was the first person to suggest that an atmosphere containing high levels of carbon dioxide would lead to a warmer earth, but whose scientific contributions went unrecognized because of the customs of the time. A symposium at UC Santa Barbara on May 17 delved further into the topic.