John R. Delaney Receives 2012 Athelstan Spilhaus Award: Response

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Abstract

It is humbling and exhilarating to be honored as this year's recipient of the Spilhaus Award. Humbling because Athelstan himself set the standard as a highly productive scientific innovator with a gift for making science not just accessible but engaging to the public at large. Exhilarating because we are all now poised on the threshold of being able to achieve universal scientific engagement with a global audience. Rapidly emerging technologies, global societal problems, shifting international attitudes, and novel social media are converging to power a new paradigm of scientific inquiry and engagement. Scientists are now enabled to operate transparently on a stage of planetary to microscopic scale. The boundaries between research and education begin to blur as this convergence embraces scientific investigation, the arts, the environment, the economy, ethics, energy, health, and entertainment. It is into this complex cultural tapestry that we scientists must weave our stories of struggle and success to engage entire communities in the essential roles that science, technology, and people play.

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