In February, at the AAAS meetings in San Diego, Stephen Schneider gave a gangbuster talk about climate change denial. Schneider was energetic, feisty, and absolutely right about the challenges faced by scientists trying to talk to the media. NCSE’s Genie Scott, a fellow panelist, came away deeply impressed, and she knows more than most about giving a good presentation on how scientists should react to science denial. Little wonder, since Schneider has been at the heart of research on global warming since the early 1970s, and has recognized for just as long that the science is not enough.
His scientific memoir – Science as a Contact Sport – is full of the energy he displayed on stage, and provides great background on the ways scientists, policymakers, and the press have been working together and at odds throughout the lifetime of this political issue. Schneider was a forceful and effective advocate for policies that would slow or stop global warming, as well as a committed researcher on the causes and consequences of global warming, and even on the sociology of climate change denialism.
He died last night at the age of 65. His life’s work, both as a scientist and as a policy advocate, will be carried on by his students and by the many people he touched through his tireless efforts. He will be missed.