As some of you may know, before I departed to bananaland I stopped by the capital of the empire with the Caltech Y to look around. While we were there, they voted to impeach the leader of the free world - and tomorrow they’ll vote to acquit him, right before Sovclub. It is only fitting.
Some of highlights of the people and places we visited, and what we learned:
NOAA: Looks like global warming is real. Also we learned that you’re not supposed to deface and divulge fake maps.
AAAS: Scientists and experts can help the government. But you can’t help them from themselves.
Caltech’s lobbyist: Not only we have one, their job is awesome and they make shit happen by playing a real life version of 4D chess that requires extensive networking knowledge (the other kind of networking).
Bill Colglazier - Former Science Advisor to Secretary of State (Clinton & Kerry): Bill is really cool. Also the Department of State is GG. Lucky for you, he’s gonna be on campus giving a talk at 3pm on Thursday.
The NSF COO: There are some interesting quirks to how American government science funding came to be, and it was all kickstarted by Vannevar Bush after the war thanks to a report he compiled aptly called Science: the endless frontier. We’re still pretty much following it. ALSO, breaking news: when I asked the NSF COO about different funding modalities and giving money to fellowships instead of PIs he pretty much said “oh boy” and declined to respond*.
So there you have it. Everything I learned in DC. Now you don’t need to come to the meeting anymore. Good thing nobody reads my emails.
See you tomorrow at 6PM on Sovereignty Lounge, BBB B101.
*But he basically confirmed that PIs oppose fellowships because it removes their control over grad students. I asked about the impact of fellowships vs grants and freedom and he said “oh man you’d love to be a fly in the wall in some discussions we had with PIs here… I’ll just say that the response is ‘nonlinear’. If this were a congressional hearing this is where I’d deflect your question and go on an unrelated tangent but…yeah. I’ll just not respond to it”