Advancing the science of gardening and other stuff since 2009
The Garden Professors rise again
It’s been over a year since I’ve posted to our blog.
I feel bad about that. But there’s always something else competing for my time, and the blog slipped away from the top of my “to do” list.
Today the federal government has clamped down on the ability of its scientists to communicate with the public. This is real – and it is frightening.
There’s not much I can do about that edict in my position as a state Extension specialist. But as a state Extension specialist I have a responsibility to translate and transmit information to the public relevant to my discipline. So here’s my offer.
If you are, or if you know, a federal scientist who has information relevant to my discipline (applied plant and soil sciences) that you want the public to see, send it to me. I will post it here, and in our social media, keeping the source anonymous.
Science will NOT be suppressed. Yes, that sounds dramatic, but I don’t think any of my colleagues foresaw what is happening with the new administration. It’s time to act.
Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and a Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets.
Linda also is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc., and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest effort is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019).
In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s contribution to gardeners was recognized in 2017 by the Association for Garden Communicators as the first recipient of their Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award.
"The Garden Professors" Facebook page - www.facebook.com/TheGardenProfessors
"The Garden Professors" Facebook group - www.facebook.com/groups/GardenProfessors
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13 thoughts on “The Garden Professors rise again”
It is good to see you back again, although the reason why is not good at all. I’m sure I’m not the only reader who has missed your postings.
There seem to be bigger fish to fry at WSU so I am hoping to have more time and energy for the blog. I’ve missed you all too.
Sad that not much has changed since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring came out – sponsored alternate facts from pesticide producers still shared by our universities and agencies https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mF2iS5vIamg
Hope to keep up with this blog..
“I don’t think any of my colleagues foresaw what is happening with the new administration.”
Why the h*ll not? Republicans have been trying to shut down the EPA for years – sabotaging it so they can point to it and say, “See, it doesn’t work.” Their corporate friends find EPA regulations too hard to comply with and with the current POTUS, now is their chance. Just like higher education had to create new positions for all the accountability measures, CEOs would rather not worry about the environment cutting into their bonuses, profits, and shareholders’ investments.
Thank you for being willing to be a voice for those who are potentially suppressed in this new era of disinformation, falsehood and reckless disregard for the future.
Thank you for doing this, as it’s a real service for those of us who care about the environment and global warming. And welcome back–your voice has been greatly missed.
I wonder how far censorship will go in your once liberal country
We are used to alternative facts in gardening but when they come from the government….
Thank you for having the courage to stand up and speak out. I worked in college bookstores in the past and I detest censorship.
Professor, unless you are a member of one of the four federal agencies to whom this order applied, you have nothing to worry about, and you know it. You talk a lot about “CRAP analysis,” yet your remarks here don’t hold up in light of such. You know this doesn’t apply to you — why are you trying to scare your readers? I have truly lost a lot of my respect for you and find this tactic offensive. By the way, when the order came down, a senior EPA official said: “I’ve lived through many transitions, and I don’t think this is a story. I don’t think it’s fair to call it a gag order. This is standard practice. And the move with regard to the grants, when a new administration comes in, you run things by them before you update the website.”
Loretta, it doesn’t matter if I’m an employee or not. It still affects science in the academic arena. There is continuing evidence of this – all you have to do is search .edu sites to find examples. Here’s a recent one from Columbia University. http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2017/08/14/scott-pruitt-and-donald-trumps-stealth-war-on-epa/.
How about one from Harvard? http://blogs.harvard.edu/billofhealth/2017/09/01/what-if-trump-censors-climate-science-scientific-research-policy-and-law-under-the-trump-administration/
Or maybe Northwestern? http://studio.knightlab.com/results/environmental-reporting-with-sensors/democratizing-data-reporting-from-the-ground-up/
Unless you are going to accuse the entire higher ed system of being in cahoots to frighten the public – there is something to see here.
It’s not scare tactics.
And today, coincidentally, was an email from AAAS (arguably the best science-based organization in the world). Here is the text of their email:
“There’s never been a more important time to join AAAS.
Recently, we’ve seen proposals to slash funding at the National Institutes of Health, drastically reduce air and water protections, and restrict the free-flow of scientific ideas across the world. These actions aren’t advancing science. We must respond with one strong voice — together.
So far this year — one of the most critical years in our organization’s history — thousands of scientists and science advocates in your area have joined.
Will you show your support for the integrity of science and the AAAS community by becoming a member today?
We’re building more than just a membership base, we’re strengthening a movement. AAAS members are the driving force behind our initiatives to keep the public informed and prepare elected officials to make policy decisions based on research and evidence — not ideology and opinion.
Today you can join AAAS and become a part of this movement for as little as $50.
Thank you for joining us,
American Association for the Advancement of Science”
So unless you think there is some big conspiracy among scientist to bamboozle the public – I suggest you read what scientists from every discipline are saying.
Loretta, you need to start looking at what’s readily available to ANY reader on the internet. How about this paragraph from a recent NPR story?
“The Environmental Protection Agency’s 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Implementation Plan warned that those in charge of cleaning up Superfund sites should explicitly plan for more rain, bigger floods and “increased intensity of hurricanes.” Based on earlier EPA climate change research, the report authors recommended that the agency change how it protects people from toxic chemical releases as sea levels rise and storms get more severe.
“The report was removed from the EPA website when President Trump took office in January — it last appeared on the site the day before his inauguration.”
Still think this is “business as usual?”