“Needed: highly motivated geoscientists willing to slow the pace of their research for 1–2 years while managing federal government support of their discipline. Assured: change of perspective; no change in pay. Contact your National Science Foundation Program Director for details.—

No, this isn't an NSF job announcement; this is an open letter to members of the Earth science community from a recently “retired” NSF rotator concerned by the small number of researchers interested in a Washington tour. I learned firsthand the extent to which an individual in this position is entrusted with decision-making powers, and as a result, I believe that each of us in the research community should feel responsible for ensuring that highly qualified people serve as rotators.