On February 24, 2015, Dr. Gabriel Henderson of Aarhus University, gave a brown bag talk at the American Center for Physics in College Park. His talk described the research he had done using the American Geophysical Union (AGU) records from the Niels Bohr Library & Archives and elsewhere.
Shaping a Middle Ground: Emergence of the AGU Committee on Environmental Quality, 1970-1974
In 1970, Helmut Landsberg, renowned climatologist and President of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), established the Committee on Environmental Quality (CEQ). Chaired by atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer, the CEQ was envisioned as a unique opportunity to strengthen the role of American geophysicists in national discussions of environmental degradation while providing a robust institutional platform to challenge what many interpreted as exaggerated public claims of future environmental catastrophe. While dissolved shortly thereafter in 1974, the brief existence of the CEQ illuminates the precarious risk of pursuing what Singer conceived of as a sober-minded "middle course" within an increasingly polarized political environment.
Our next Brown Bag Talk will take place on Wednesday, March 25 at noon with our Associate Historian Teasel Muir-Harmony’s “Astronaut Ambassadors: The Apollo 11 Goodwill Tour and the Role of Space Exploration in Science Diplomacy.” For information please chp [at] aip.org (contact) the Center for History of Physics or see a list of past and future talks on our website.