Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ohio situation shows the perils of being a State Geologist

Running a scientific organization in the world of politics can be fraught with peril.    Doing "good science" is usually not enough by itself.    The choice of what projects to work on and how to communicate results that challenge the basis of policies are typical issues that all of us in the public realm have to deal with.

Two recent news stories describe the challenges faced by Ohio State Geologist Larry Wickstrom [right, credit Ohio Geological Survey]

The Athens (Ohio) News reports that "Ohio's top geologist got sacked at least partly because he publicly released a game-changing Utica deep-shale map and study without vetting his higher-ups..."

 Andrew Alden, who writes at About Geology, cautioned that "Public geoscientists can get caught in crossfire that's not of their making."

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