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Ocean scientists must present societally “important” issues neutrally, as they did in connection with El Nino without resorting to advocacy At the same time, however, ocean scientists miss vital opportunities to inform the public if they take no political positions at all, as occurred in connection with a recent swordfish boycott by consumers in the northeastern United States.

These were some of the comments of William Spitzer, Director of Education at the Boston Aquarium, at a symposium titled “Ocean Science and Engineering Education, Meeting the Challenge.” The meeting was part of last falls 30th anniversary celebration of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography and Applied Ocean Science and Engineering.