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Bard College Faculty Member Gidon Eshel Named 2010 PopTech Science and Public Leadership Fellow

Jennifer Wai-Lan Huang
Bard College Faculty Member Gidon Eshel Named 2010 PopTech Science and Public Leadership Fellow
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Bard College faculty member Gidon Eshel has been named a 2010 PopTech Science and Public Leadership Fellow. Eshel, who is a Bard Center Fellow in environmental physics, is among 18 scientists working in fields such as energy, food supply, sustainability, water, public health, climate change, conservation ecology, green chemistry, computing, education, oceans, and national security to make up the inaugural class of the PopTech Science and Public Leadership Fellows Program. Chosen for their scientific credentials as well as strong innate communications skills and an interest in public leadership, Fellows are high-potential, early- and mid-career scientists working in areas of critical importance to the nation and the planet. They represent a corps of highly visible and socially engaged scientific leaders who embody science as an essential way of thinking, discovering, understanding, and deciding.

Gidon Eshel examines numerically the impacts of food production on the physical environment. His cutting-edge research investigates the energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, land and water use, and biogeochemical cycle perturbations of animal- and plant-based diets. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, and private foundations. He is a frequent commentator on food, the environment, and global climate change. Eshel’s training as an applied mathematician and geophysicist, coupled with his expertise in agriculture and climate change, make him a leader in food reform and environmental policy. Eshel received his Ph.D. in physical oceanography from Columbia University. In 1996, he was the recipient of an NOAA’s Global and Climate Change Fellowship. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard’s Center for Earth and Planetary Physics (1996–98), a staff scientist in physical oceanography at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute/MIT (1998–99), and a faculty member in the department of geophysics at the University of Chicago (1999–2007). He has been a Bard Center Fellow at Bard College since 2007.

About the PopTech Science and Public Leadership Fellows Program
The program addresses the crucial need for scientists as socially engaged public communicators and acknowledges the critically important role science plays in improving society and the simultaneous decline in public understanding of the field. President Obama recently stated, “Today, more than ever before, science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation.” The program aims to develop a corps of visible and trusted scientific leaders who can engage with the public about issues of critical importance to the nation and the planet, and who can encourage scientific thinking about new issues as they arise, thus bolstering the role of science in the public sphere, improving the public’s literacy and embrace of science, and creating new scientific role models for young people and new multidisciplinary collaboration opportunities for working scientists.

Fellows will be given yearlong training and skills development led by a world-class faculty of experts in communications, media training, public engagement, and leadership. The training program first convened in August 2010 at the Banbury Center of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a renowned research and education institution at the forefront of work in molecular biology and genetics. Fellows will develop relationships with leaders in communications, media, and public engagement who will provide ongoing guidance and mentoring. Fellows are also provided with significant opportunities to raise their public profile and that of their work through a variety of media, and to participate in a peer-level alumni network. Fellows will be given prominent placement at the PopTech conference, including interviews and collaborative sessions with leading journalists and members of the network dedicated to helping them raise their profile. The goal of the program is to help scientists become better communicators and leaders while continuing their scientific careers.

The Science and Public Leadership Fellows program is made possible by a number of organizations with a deep commitment to the role of science in public life. Program partners are highlighted on the science supporters page and include Microsoft Research, Intel, the National Science Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Rita Allen Foundation, and the National Geographic Society.

About PopTech
PopTech is a new kind of innovation accelerator—a community of cutting-edge leaders, thinkers, and doers from many different disciplines who come together to explore the social impact of technology and the forces of change shaping the future. PopTech’s one-of-a-kind network includes innovators in wide-ranging fields such as science, technology, green energy, sustainable ecomaterials, violence cessation, design, and the corporate, entrepreneurial, and social sectors. PopTech’s mission is to accelerate the positive impact of world-changing people and ideas and foster unconventional collaborations that tackle some of the world’s most significant challenges and lead to real and lasting change. PopTech is a nonprofit 501(3) organization. Please visit and for more information.

About the Bard Center
Established in 1978, The Bard Center develops pacesetting educational and scholarly programs with a recognized nationwide impact. It promotes the study of the liberal arts and sciences as they relate to issues of public planning and decision making in and beyond the Hudson River Valley. These programs enrich the intellectual, cultural, and social experience of Bard undergraduates and establish a network of academic and professional centers beyond the campus.

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This event was last updated on 12-20-2010