This is not meant to be a political blog.
President Obama addressed the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday morning, stressing the commitment he made during his campaign to “restore science to its rightful place” in the policy arena.But he also urged scientists to take steps themselves to engage with citizens and leaders. In the address, he called for scientists to move out of the laboratory into society, essentially becoming emissaries in what he said must be a national movement to inspire and enable young people “to be makers of things, not just consumers of things.”
Obama has called on scientists to move out of the laboratory and into public life. Teachers? We can do this too. We need to move out of the classroom and into public life as people who are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about climate change and the small things we can do. Our action on plastic water bottles is just this kind of thing - a bold public move that moves us toward less waste, toward less built-in obsolescence, and we hope for and act toward the slowing of the things that we consume.
He has asked common people “to be makers of things, not just consumers of things." We are common people. We can do this. The little incremental steps that we each take, day in and day out, change who we are. As we change, so too does some part of the world inside us and outside us.
If you are interested, you should also note that Obama recognizes the founding of land-grant universities. We attend one.