The Lamp 2017

also licensed a meteor radar that couldmeasure the lower and upper atmospheres simultaneously. Social contract shift In 1994, Avery became director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado. The institute, the largest of NOAA’s cooperative institutes, includes more than 800 scientists, staff and students devoted to improving understanding of the earth and its environment. Its scientists produce an average of 500 peer- reviewed publications annually. “At the time I became director, science’s social contract with society had begun to shift from ColdWar military defense to somethingmuch broader,” she says. “Awareness of how science impacted everyday lives was evolving. Research organizations were beginning to respond accordingly, including greater efforts to expand scientific literacy. Among other efforts, we launched a program to improve K-12 science teaching and expose teachers to the scientific research environment. “In addition, we developed a new center devoted to the interface of science with policy, as well as a new program on climate variability and change and its impact on western water. I am pleased that all of these initiatives are now part of the ongoing culture of CIRES – one that balances interaction with stakeholders with the need for science information.”

From 2008 to 2015, Avery was president and director of the prestigious Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts, where she continued to build public scientific awareness of the ocean and its connectivity to everyone. The need for scale At ExxonMobil, Avery looks forward to lending her science and engineering perspective. She is particularly interested in supporting ExxonMobil’s leadership and the work that the company is doing to bring new technology solutions for climate and energy issues to scale, including carbon capture and sequestration and biofuels, so they can do the most good. “Bringing solutions to scale is what the private sector can do best. Academia and nonprofits can make significant contributions, but they simply don’t have the horsepower that the industry does.” Avery adds that there’s also a key need for governments to return to funding basic science research, as they have done in the past. “Governments have the resources that could generate the thousands of ideas from which a few will provide solutions. ExxonMobil is an industry leader in basic science research, but can’t do it all,” she says. “There’s no doubt that the best and timeliest solutions for climate and energy will come with industry, academia, environmental nonprofits and government all working together.”


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