Lamont Weekly Report, February 1, 2008

Of the twenty-odd separate appointments in my diary for this past  week, the Earth Institute External Advisory Board Meeting and the  second meeting of the Columbia Climate Center Steering Committee are  probably the most worthy of note. And tonight I am attending a  celebration hosted by the Consul General of Norway to mark the New  York City International Polar Weekend at the American Museum of  Natural History. Two full afternoons of activities and presentations on Saturday and Sunday at AMNH feature many (in fact mostly) Lamont  and Columbia folks - stop by - it will be worth it.

I enjoyed the Frank Press essay (along with several other articles) in  Nature's January 17th 'Year of Planet Earth' feature. The opening  sentence made me think about the ongoing US President selection  process. Frank quoted a well-known phrase from a speech by Margaret  Thatcher to the Royal Society in 1988: "the value of Faraday's work  
today must be higher than the capitalization of all the shares on the  stock exchange". It would be nice to know that our Presidential  candidates had similarly lucid insight into the fundamental and  practical importance of basic research. But this is coming dangerously  close to political commentary, so I shall stop.

Being unable to think right now because of the noise of the torrential  rain on Monell's resonant roof, I shall depart for the city and  consume polar delicacies at the Norwegian Consulate, and host several  valuable friends from Lamont's Advisory Board.

Hope it stops raining, have a great weekend.

  - Mike