GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 228-8
Presentation Time: 3:30 PM


FLEISHER, P. Jay, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, SUNY-Oneonta, Ravine Parkway, Oneonta, NY 13820

The American political situation has become so polarized it is difficult, if not impossible for the general public to get an unbiased assessment of issues related to science. Furthermore, science is under attack by continuous denial of factual information. Topics of current relevance include Climate Change, Severe Weather, Rising Sea Level and Species Extinction.

Our job, and that of all scientists is to accurately express information in terms that are factually accurate and readily comprehended by the general public, thus bringing understandable science to all citizens, including those in our local communities. Two fundamental concepts that challenge general comprehension are “rates of change (time)” and “global linkage (dimension and magnitude)”.

Impartial access to many topics is available in my community (Oneonta, NY) through the “Center for Continuing Adult Learning” (a.k.a. CCAL:, which consists of approximately 200 intellectually curious citizens, many of whom are retired professionals. “Classes” are offered by many individuals, including scientists with a broad variety of expertise. Pro bono instruction is by a “facilitator”, mostly retired faculty from one of the two local colleges, area hospitals and other professionals. A class may consist of a single lecture/discussion, a lecture series, an activity or a field trip. Members pay a nominal fee to participate in classes from a list of 30-40 (not all science oriented) published in a semi-annual pamphlet.

Virtually any community of curios individuals can develop an organization of adult learners and enjoy unbiased, stimulating discussions of contemporary scientific topics, thus being informed when choosing public officials.

Furthermore, I am calling upon GSA to join with AGU, NSF, NOAA, AAAS, AIBS, and others in a crusade to save science from political discretization.