CU Boulder Academic Futures Response Paper

Old Main and Flatirons with Clouds in the Fall

The University of Colorado Boulder is a great university in many respects. Over the past year or so the campus has engaged in a soul-searching exercise called Academic Futures. yesterday, the campus released a report from this exercise, which can be found here.

The campus has asked for 2-page response papers to the report, and I have submitted one. It is titled “The Absence of a Public Policy Program [at CU Boulder] is a Major Obstacle to the Academic Futures Vision.” You can read it here in PDF.  You can also read it in full after the break.

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Out This Week: Disasters & Climate Change 2018, 2nd Edition

DnCC2The 2nd edition of my short book Disasters and Climate Change is being published this week by the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University, in their series, The Rightful Place of Science.
The substantially updated and revised edition includes the following:
  • Updated data from official government sources on trends in extreme temperatures, extreme precipitation, tropical cyclones, floods, drought and tornadoes.
  • A summary of the conclusions of the most recent IPCC reports on extreme events.
  • Documentation of the most recent peer reviewed science on trends in global disaster losses.
  • A summary of the conclusions of the 2017 US National Climate Assessment on extreme events.
  • Data on progress with respect to the UN SDG goal of reducing disaster losses as a proportion of global GDP.
  • A discussion of the move within some parts of the scientific community to abandon the IPCC framework for detection and attribution (for extremes) towards a far less rigorous approach emphasizing partial event attribution.
  • My experiences being investigated by a member of the US Congress, appearing in Wikileaks as the target of a campaign to silence me, and ultimately receiving the full support of my campus leaders as I have largely departed the climate field (but not entirely!).
  • A broader discussion of the deeply pathological politics of climate policy and what it will really take to move in the direction of practical action, not just angry debates.
  • Updated data from BP on trends in global carbon free energy consumption and the continuing expansion of fossil fuels.
The issue of disasters and climate change is fully politicized and draws a lot of heat.
With this short book I seek to shed some light.

The book will be available this week at Amazon.

If you are a journalist or would like an advance copy for reviewing purposes, just send me an email.

Decline Continues: Peak Football Update 2018

Boulder vs Fairview Football

Last year I wrote a few articles on what I termed “peak football,” the idea that youth participation in high school football had peaked and was in decline. The idea was expressed not as a certainty, but a hypothesis based on emerging evidence. Those articles and an interview on the data can be read at the following places:

Thanks to the excellent work of the National Association of State High School Federations we can now update the data through the end of the 2017-2018 school year. The decline of high school football continues. The sport still remains hugely popular and is not going away anytime soon. However, the evidence of decline is stronger in 2018. Data and discussion after the jump.

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My Fall 2018 Graduate Seminar Syllabus: Science, Technology and Society

smugpilots

Here in PDF is my graduate seminar syllabus for this fall for ENVS 5110, Science, Technology and Society. This is most likely the last time this course will be taught at CU Boulder as the campus is ending our Graduate Certificate Program in Science and Technology Policy after 15 years.

Comments welcomed. As time allows I’ll post at this blog on the course and its ample supply of diverse readings. I am really excited to dive into these books and articles with the class. Lots of fun stuff to explore.

A Simple Rule: Program Death Penalty for Killing an Athlete

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In February 2002, Daniel F. Reardon, a 19 year-old University of Maryland student, drank himself to death at the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity.  The institutional response was quick: the University of Maryland suspended the fraternity and the national accrediting body for the fraternity revoked its charterThe general principle here seems obvious: if your campus-affiliated organization shares in responsibility for the death of a college student, then your organization is penalized, perhaps even losing its right to exist. However, there is apparently an important exception to this general rule for university football programs. There should not be.

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