PROFILE AND KEY CONCERNS

 

Walter J. Bogan,

Director of Education Programs, University Heights Science Park, Newark,

 

June 2007 

 

I became interested in environmental science as a young chemistry teacher in the early 60s and I read Man's Role in Changing the Face of the Earth by William L. Thomas and Dare the School Build a New Social Order? by George S. Counts and the future of my life in education had a new vector.

 

The Scientists' Institute for Public Information  (SIPI) employed me to work with Barry Commoner, Margaret Mead, Rene Dubos, Edward Tatum, Fred Robbins and Warren Weaver in my early 20s on education an the public understanding of science and technology.

 

Two principals informed and guided SIPI's work:

 

"The scientific community should, on its own initiative, assume an obligation to call to public attention those issues of public policy which relate to science, and to provide for the general public the facts and estimates of the effects of alternative policies, which the citizen must have if he is to participate intelligently in the solution of these problems."

Report of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Committee on Science and the Promotion for Human Welfare

 

"Outside his laboratory, (the scientist's) task is to educate us in what goes inside it, and to give it a meaning for us. In a world in which statesman as much as voters are ignorant of the simplest implications in science, this is a formidable responsibility… (The scientist) has no other choice today but patiently to become a teacher, in a world in which distrust and prejudice are free… there is no alternative to an informed public opinion; and that can exist only where scientists speak to voters, and voters accept their responsibility, which is to listen, to weigh, and then to make their own choice."

J. Bronowski

 

 

As a part of my orientation and continuing education at SIPI, I read Commoner's book Science and Survival and Lamont Cole's article the Ecological Crisis and Lynn White's article the Historical Roots of the Ecological Crisis in Science Magazine and later So Human an Animal and A God Within by Dubos. The Closing Circle by Commoner and Spaceship Earth by Barbara Ward

 

I participated with Margaret Mead in the World Council of Church's conference in Zurich on "The Impact or Western Technology on Developing Countries" in 1969.  

 

I represented SIPI as an NGO at the UN in preparation for the Stockholm Conference in 1972 and was elected chairman of US based NGOs participating in the Stockholm Conference.

 

SIPI played a significant role in preparing NGO's for more effective participation in the 1972 conference of Human Environment. The Institute sponsored a conference in April to provide substantive background information for citizens' groups; representatives of 153 NGOs attended. The meeting was chaired by Margaret Mead, President and featured a talk by Barry Commoner. Two distinguished UN ambassadors also spoke: Ambassador Keith Johnson, Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the UN and Chairman of the Preparatory Committee to the 1972 conference, and Ambassador Olaf Rydbek of the Swedish Mission to the UN.

 

After Stockholm, I joined the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare as Director of the Office of Environmental Education.   In Washington, I met Alexander N. Christakis who introduced me to his work on EKISTICS and his work with Hasan Ozbakan on the first Club of Rome Report and to John Warfield and their work on ISM. We collaborated on environmental education for over ten years culminating in Designs for the Future of Environmental Education (USDOE Publication No. E-81-39000).

 

In 1980 I left the Department of Education to join the AAAS where I developed and became Director of a Center for Education of Global Change just before Rio 1992 and became Agenda 21 the bridge for my reentry into the conversation on Sustainable Development.

 

In November 2006 the Newark Public School and University Heights Science Park and the we opened Science Park High School $72M Sustainable designed (LEED) facility with a fiber optic infrastructure to link an urban school system and three research universities in a K-20 Internet2 consortium to prepare urban minority students for entry into the health, science and technology careers of the future.

 

I am currently developing a Digital Media and Spatial Literacy Academy because of the growing realizations that for sustainable economic development to take place in Newark and elsewhere Newark residents have to share in the city's economic revitalization and innovation-based economy. Our new Digital Century Center building will provide facilities for pre-production, production, post-production, presentation and distribution of digital media for teachers, students and the community using Internet2 to explore "Windows on Careers in the Sciences and Technology" for Sustainable Development which will be implemented in collaboration with our business, university and government partners linking teachers, students, and parents for engagement and education in sciences and technology. We will introduce coordinate visits to our partner's sites and virtual tours to demonstrate interactive information technologies for student exploration and planning for career in the sciences and technology.

 

 

 

 KEY INTERESTS:

 

·         EDUCATION AND PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING OF THE RECIPROCAL INTERACTIONS OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

 

·         EDUCATION AND PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING OF SUSTAINABLE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, HUMAN HEALTH AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

 

·         EDUCATION AND PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING OF THE LOCAL EFFECTS OF GLOBALIZATION

 

·         EDUCATION AND PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR CAREERS IN NEW MEDIA AND THE SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY