ENTS Junior Colloquium -- Winter 2002
"Interactions Between Scientists and Industry:
The Paper Industry as a Case Study"
Organizer: Deborah Gross, Chemistry Department
During Winter Term, we'll be investigating how scientists interact with large industry, specifically in shaping their environmental policies and behavior. As a case study, we will examine the paper industry, which is huge economically and has significant environmental impact at all levels, from forest management to air and water pollution, to management of solid waste. During this term, we will hear first-hand about the role that the paper industry plays in environmental sciences and the role that science can play in the operations of the paper industry from scientists actively engaged in the field. Over the course of the term, we will learn about the details of the paper industry as well as think about how the industry works with environmental scientists.
We will accomplish these goals through a combination of talks by and with visiting speakers and readings. We will meet as a group twice, in conjunction with the talks given to our group. In addition to participation in the discussions associated with the talks and completing the readings, a paper will be due at the end of the term (described below).
The readings are as follows:
These readings should be completed by February 16, so that you can draw on the information in our discussion with our second speaker.
- Worldwatch Institute Paper 149: "Paper Cuts: Recovering the Paper Landscape" by Abramovitz and Mattoon (available for purchase from the Bookstore)
This paper will provide you with details of the paper industry as well as paper use worldwide.
- Chapter 3 in: "The U.S. Paper Industry and Sustainable Production" by Maureen Smith (available on open reserve in the Library)
This chapter serves as an introduction to the pollution issues surrounding the pulp and paper industry.
The visitors are as follows:
January 6 (Sunday)
February 16 (Saturday)
A discussion of the speaker's personal experiences when representatives of the paper industry saw her research program as a threat.
"Relations with the Paper Industry: From Confrontation to Cooperation"
Note that because we are bringing in speakers from off campus, we have little flexibility in the date/time of the meeting. If you will not be able to attend one of these talks because of a legitimate conflict, please see me beforehand to discuss alternatives. Also, apologies for having the first talk so soon after the beginning of the term. Scheduling it was difficult, but it will be well worth it -- she's a fantastic speaker and has a very interesting tale to tell.
Exploration of the Media:
Find and track one or two news stories in which scientists and industry or policy makers are both directly involved in a decision-making process (the decision need not be made, but must be under discussion). For example, there is a discussion about drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. What do scientists have to say compared to what industry/political voices say? This will be an project to carry out throughout the term, and can take you in many directions. Useful sources for this will be daily newspapers, weekly news magazines, and scientific news magazines/journals such as "Chemical and Engineering News," "Science," and "Environmental Science and Technology," all of which are available in our library. If you have questions about the suitability of any particular story, please see me to discuss it.
The visitors who speak to us this term will offer a variety of perspectives on the kinds of interactions that occur between scientists and a powerful industry group. As a culmination to this colloqium, I would like you to write a 4 - 5 page paper in which you reflect on what we've heard and read, and in which you describe what you feel would be a successful model for the interaction between environmental scientists and an industry such as the paper industry. How does this model compare to that which you were tracking in the news? What are the issues that you think are the most complex or most difficult to deal with, in bringing the groups together, both in the paper industry/scientists case and in the other(s) you are following? Be sure to correctly reference any articles you use in the paper, and provide a list of all the articles you read related to the news story you chose. This paper will be due at the end of classes, March 11.
You can contact me in a variety of ways:
- Office: Mudd 172
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: x5629