Science Wednesday:The Ghost of Science Future

Each week we write about the science behind environmental protection. Previous Science Wednesdays.

By Aaron Ferster

This past weekend, my extended family came to town to see my daughter play the role of Belinda Cratchit in her high school production of A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley. It was a nice break from the yearend editing crush of newsletter articles, science action plans, and an annual report that have piled up on my desk over the past couple of weeks.

Instead of stressing about looming deadlines and missing blog posts (you know who are!), I spent a wonderful evening in the company of friends and family watching a timeless story of reflection and redemption, complete with stage effects and a trio of ghosts sporting amazing costumes.

I found my thoughts drifting back to the performance well into Monday morning’s staff meeting. Somewhere along the line, it occurred to me that the main point of the story—that it’s a good idea for us to take stock of where we’ve been, what we’re doing, and where we want to go—can be good motivation.
That afternoon, reviewing last year’s annual report (Science and Research at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: EPA progress report 2010) became my own personal “Ghost of Science Communication Past,” reminding me of things I want to improve for the production of our 2011 report in order to do justice to the many achievements EPA scientists and engineers have accomplished over the past year.

The weekly quest to provide blog posts here on Science Wednesday offers an ideal “Ghost of Science Communication Present,” a constant reminder to keep the flow of ongoing EPA science and research stories moving. Thanks to all of you who check in every week to see what’s going on.

And as followers of this blog now know, EPA’s collective “Ghost of Science Future” is sustainability. Sustainability—and the innovative research that will be required to achieve it—has been identified as EPA’s “The True North,” guiding its science and research efforts into the future.

Over the next year, I’ll be devoting at least one “Science Wednesday” a month to EPA sustainability science. Please let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or specific topics you’d like to see covered. Look for our first sustainability blog right after the holidays on January 4, 2012. (We do have Christmas off—Bah humbug!)

About the author: Aaron Ferster is the editor of Science Wednesday and a frequent contributor.

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