The Honorable Dr. Jane Lubchenco, U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean, to give 2016 Prather Lectures, February 8 & 9

The Honorable Dr. Jane Lubchenco is U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean and University Distinguished Professor and Advisor in Marine Studies, Oregon State University.

Dr. Lubchenco is a world renowned environmental scientist who has deep experience in the worlds of science, academia, government, and conservation. She is a champion of science and of the stronger engagement of scientists with society around key issues of our time.

She was the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 2009-2013. Nominated by President Obama in December 2008 as part of his "Science Dream Team," she is a marine ecologist and environmental scientist by training, with expertise in oceans, climate change, and interactions between the environment and human well-being. Under her leadership, NOAA focused on restoring fisheries to sustainability and profitability, restoring oceans and coasts to a healthy state, protecting marine mammals and endangered species, ensuring continuity of the Nation's weather and other environmental satellites, developing a Weather-Ready Nation, promoting climate science and delivering climate information and services to inform understanding and adaptation, strengthening science and ensuring scientific integrity at NOAA, and delivering the highest quality science, services and stewardship.

Dr. Lubchenco now holds the title of University Distinguished Professor and Advisor in Marine Studies at Oregon State University. She received her B.A. in biology from Colorado College, her M.S. in zoology from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in ecology from Harvard University. Her academic career as a professor began at Harvard University (1975-1977) and continued at Oregon State University (1977-2009) until her appointment as NOAA administrator. Dr. Lubchenco has served as president of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), the International Council for Science (ICSU), and the Ecological Society of America, and was a board member for 10 years on the National Science Board.

Dr. Lubchenco has served or serves on numerous National Academy of Sciences and several commissions, including the Pew Oceans Commission, the Joint Oceans Commission Initiative, the Aspen Institute Arctic Commission, the Council of Advisors for Google Ocean, the Blue Ribbon Panel for the World Bank's Global Partnership for Oceans and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network that advises UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

Dr. Lubchenco is one of the "most highly cited" ecologists in the world; eight of her publications are recognized as "Science Citation Classics." She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the American Philosophical Society; the Royal Society; the World Academy of Science, and the Chilean Academy of Science.

Dr. Lubchenco has received numerous awards including a MacArthur "genius" award, 19 honorary doctorates, the Heinz Award for the Environment, AAAS's Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award and The World Academy of Science Medal. She was named "2010 Newsmaker of the Year" by the scientific journal Nature; she received the highest honor the Coast Guard gives to a civilian, the U. S. Coast Guard Public Service Award; and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation, the Seattle Aquarium Medal and the Eminent Ecologist Award from the Ecological Society of America.

Dr. Lubchenco is passionate about promoting the discovery, communication and use of scientific knowledge in policy, management and public understanding. She is recognized for promoting the concept of 'a social contract for scientists' in which scientists pursue and share knowledge that is relevant to society's most pressing problems, and do so with transparency, honesty and humility. She co-founded a research consortium, PISCO, that studies the near-shore ocean along the coasts of Oregon and California. She co-founded three organizations that enhance communication of scientific knowledge to the public, policy makers, media and industry: The Leopold Leadership Program, the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS), and Climate Central. And at NOAA, she strengthened science and the use of scientific knowledge in policy and management.

Monday, February 8
6:00pm
Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street
Free and open to the public

From Doom and Gloom to Hope: Innovations in Ocean Science and Policy
Drawing on her experience at the helm of NOAA from 2009 to 2013, Dr. Lubchenco will discuss how this government agency advances and utilizes scientific research on weather, climate, and oceans to guide its services and improve environmental stewardship in the United States. She will also highlight new scientific advances that are transforming attitudes, behaviors, and policies that affect ocean health and the future of humanity, and discuss her role as the Department of State's first U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean.

Tuesday, February 9
4:00pm
Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street

The Public Choices You Make: From Engagement to Advocacy
Science is more relevant and urgently needed than ever before and opportunities for scientists to deliver useful knowledge have never been greater. But unleashing the full power of science will require engaging with society in new and different ways. Society's social contract (Lubchenco 19981) includes engaging with society and sharing knowledge widely, with humility, transparency and honesty. As environmental, social and health challenges loom, use-inspired science (cutting edge science that is immediately relevant to societal problems, Donald Stokes, 19972) is tackling a rich portfolio of sustainability problems, creating both new knowledge and solutions. Interdisciplinary approaches are proving particularly productive in identifying pathways to more sustainable practices and policies. The lecture will describe new scientific advances that are transforming attitudes, behavior, management and policies that affect ocean health and therefore the future of humanity. In light of the importance of healthy oceans in providing food, medicine, jobs, recreation, cultural values and transportation, reversing the current degradation in oceans and returning them to health while continuing to benefit from their bounty is paramount. Progress has been impressive, and provides inspiration and models, but success will require a far more Herculean effort.

1Lubchenco, J. 1998. Entering the century of the environment: A new social contract for science. Science 279: 491-497.
2 Stokes, Donald E. 1997. Pasteur's Quadrant: Basic Science and Technological Innovation. Brookings Institution Press.

 

2014-15 Prather Lecture Schedule:

February 8
6:00 PM
Geological Lecture Hall
24 Oxford St.
2016 MCB/OEB Prather Lecture Series
Co-sponsored by Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and the Harvard Museum of Natural History
The Honorable Dr. Jane Lubchenco
Oregon State University, Dept. of State's First U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean
From Doom and Gloom to Hope: Innovations in Ocean Science and Policy
February 9
4:00 PM
Geological Lecture Hall
24 Oxford St.
2016 MCB/OEB Prather Lecture Series
Co-sponsored by Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Molecular and Cellular Biology
The Honorable Dr. Jane Lubchenco
Oregon State University, Dept. of State's First U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean
The Public Choices You Make: From Engagement to Advocacy
Host:
Girguis Lab

Past Prather Lectures

The John M. Prather Lectures in Biology were founded in 1939 with a bequest from John McClellan Prather, A.B. 1894. The goal of the series is to bring eminent scientists to Harvard to discuss both their science as well as their perspective on the direction of science. The series is co hosted by the Departments of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Molecular and Cellular Biology.