Scientists


200+ US evangelical scientists call on Congress to act on climate change.  This is what they say in the opening paragraph

As evangelical scientists and academics, we understand climate change is real and action is urgently needed. All of God’s Creation – humans and our environment – is groaning under the weight of our uncontrolled use of fossil fuels, bringing on a warming planet, melting ice, and rising seas. The negative consequences and burdens of a changing climate will fall disproportionately on those whom Jesus called “the least of these”: the poor, vulnerable, and oppressed. Our nation has entrusted you with political power; we plead with you to lead on this issue and enact policies this year that will protect our climate and help us all to be better stewards of Creation.

Here is a copy of the full letter together with the list of signatories, which includes very prominent climate scientists, such as Tom Ackerman and Katherine Hayhoe.

Hayhoe’s work has been shared here before (see blog post An Evangelical Climate Scientist), but Ackerman has also written and spoken on his perspective as a climate scientist and an evangelical Christian (see webpage).  His views are outlined in the paper

T. Ackerman. Global Warming: Scientific Basis and Christian Responses. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, 59, 250-264, 2007.

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This blog post gathers together recent data and information on University Professor salaries in North America.  I happen to have just accepted an Assistant Professor position at Trinity Western University in British Columbia, Canada which (unfortunately for me) has the lowest salaries in all of Canada.  I was aware of this before I got the job and choose to work here for reasons outside of pay.  However, it is a slight consolation to know that academics in Canada on average are the best paid in the world (taking into account cost of living differences).  This according to a new book

Paying the Professoriate: A Global Comparison of Compensation and Contracts

more details and a global league table can be found in this New York Times article on the book.

All sorts of useful data on University (teaching/academic) salaries in the United States including averages by discipline, career stage, region, and type/size of University can be accessed through The Chronicle of Higher Education:

http://chronicle.com/article/faculty-salaries-data-2012/131431#id=144050

For full-time teachers at Canadian Universities 201o-2011 statistics (mean, median, 10th and 90th percentile, maximum and minimum) for each rank at every University in Canada is provided in a report by Statistics Canada:

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/81-595-m/81-595-m2012097-eng.pdf

If you want to be really nosy, in British Columbia, you can find out the pay of the highest paid public employers (those who earn over ~$75,000 CAD), including individual professors at the public universities.  Search the database (data currently from fiscal year 2010/2011) compiled by the Vancouver Sun:

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/public-sector-salaries/basic.html

“The natural world is a gift from God, but we are also called to join with God in sustaining and caring for it.” John Sentamu, The Archbishop of York.

Today is Earth Day so I thought I’d post this video to mark the occasion.  It’s a Veritas lecture given by Ecology Professor Kyle Van Houtan entitled: Is God Green? – Jesus, the Church, and Caring for the Earth.

The astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson was asked by Time magazine what he considers the universe’s most astounding fact, here is his response:

Here’s a recent portrait of Hooke by painter Rita Greer. No original portrait exists (perhaps because Newton had it destroyed!) so the artist had to go by descriptions of his appearance to produce this credible image. You can listen to a 5 minute discussion on BBC Radio4 Today with historian of Science Dr Allan Chapman and the artist Rita Greer.

Robert Hooke was born in Freshwater on the Isle of Wight, England in 1635 the son a Church of England clergyman (Church of All Saints, Freshwater). Sometimes described as an English Leonardo da Vinci, Hooke’s achievements are astonishing. He made seminal contributions across the Sciences – I’m sure everyone remembers studying Hooke’s Law at school, as well as being a noted Surveyor and Architect.  This is his remarkable drawing of a flea, which apparently is a two page spread (over a foot long) in his famous Micrographia, described by Samuel Pepys as “the most ingenious book that I ever read in my life.”

A half hour BBC radio discussion on his life can be accessed from this link (definitely worth a listen).

Frozen Planet, BBCs new landmark natural history seven part TV series on the frozen wildernesses of the Arctic and Antarctic, has just finished showing in the UK.  The last episode includes some spectacular location footage of the research project I’m involved in.  This includes watching my boss, Alun Hubbard, abseil down a moulin into the depths of the Greenland Ice Sheet (see here).

The footage covers the drainage of a meltwater lake as it gushes down glacier incising channels into the ice before descending down a moulin (vertical shaft) through a kilometer of ice to the bed.  My own involvement in the research project is to model the effects this water has on the flow of the overlying ice.  Check out our new website to learn more:

http://www.aber.ac.uk/greenland/index.html

My contribution can be found in the Modelling section of this link: http://www.aber.ac.uk/greenland/Russell.html

Here is a short video interview with Glaciologist Dorthe Dahl-Jensen by APECS (Association of Polar Early Career Scientists).  Professor Dahl-Jensen heads up the Greenland ice-core drilling project at Summit camp this is the highest point on the Greenland Ice Sheet (~3200 metres above sea level).  She describes how she got into Glaciology and Climate research and why we collect ice-cores in Greenland.

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