Koonin is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served on a number of advisory committees for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense and its various national laboratories. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research interests include theoretical nuclear, many-body, and computational physics, nuclear astrophysics, and global environmental science.He is a longtime member (and most recent chair) of the JASONs, advisers to the Department of Defense on technical issues associated with national security. While serving as Caltech's provost, Koonin has continued to conduct research. His most recent project involves "earthshine" a phenomenon that allows the state of the earth's climate to be monitored by the brightness of sunlight reflected off the earth onto the dark part of the lunar disk. That brightness has diminished and then increased by a surprising amount during the past decade, suggesting a more variable global climate than is commonly assumed. (emphases mine.)
I can't believe I never heard of this JASONs business before! Or maybe I did, and then they burned it out of my memory! It sounds like something out of a comic book or an action movie. (And we've already selected part of teh cast.) From the Nautilus Institute:
JASON keeps an intentionally low profile, largely because of its classified work. There is no comprehensive list of members, and professors who are JASONs rarely mention the job on their resumes. Originally all male due to the era in which it was founded, 10% of its current membership is female. Since the group was founded, its research focus has shifted from a heavy emphasis on physics, to include other fields. Of the group's current membership, 19 are biologists, chemists, engineers, computer experts and other non-physicists. In an effort to remain young and relevant, new scientists are routinely rotated in and older members become less active senior advisors when they turn 65
I'm all over the Hellenic mythical references, and the association of Jason and Defense gives me blogospheric warm fuzzies because of the wonderful Armchair Generalist, but I hope they keep in mind the dangers of dragon's teeth.
¶ posted by Saheli | 3:37 PM
Saheli Datta started this when she was a journalism student at Columbia in New York. Now she lives in the Bay Area.
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A note on permalinks
I find that a lot of people don't know about permalinks. When you want to have someone read a
specific blog entry, then you should find that blog entry's permalink, click on that, and send
them the resulting browser address. Otherwise they will just be sent to the blog in general, and
between your reading the blog entry and your correspondent's or audience's getting to it, a whole
slew of material may have pushed the entry off the front page. In this blog, the permalinks are
the timestamp at the end of the entry. (Feel free to frequently send your friends and
family permalinks from my blog!)