New book series examines intersection of science, policy

December 3, 2013

This month, the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes (CSPO) launches a new book series, "The Rightful Place of Science." The series aims to present paperback originals on topics that reflect the signature interests of our intellectual communities. These volumes will be brief, clear and to the point, while at the same time tackling urgent topics across a range of complex techno-scientific subjects.

The overall aim is to deliver thought-provoking contributions that explore the complex interactions among science, technology, politics and the human condition. Cover of book, Politics, in The Rightful Place of Science series Download Full Image

The first two volumes are now available. The first – on the politics of science – contains essays from the co-directors of CSPO, David Guston and Daniel Sarewitz, as well as by ASU President Michael Crow, CSPO’s founder and chair. The second volume – on the promise and politics of biofuels, by John Alic – highlights CSPO’s growing engagement with sustainability, energy justice and the role of the Department of Defense in promoting energy transformations. Both of these volumes are now available through Amazon, currently in print and forthcoming in Kindle format.

Additional volumes will be published in spring 2014 and on a regular basis thereafter. Planned future topics include: an exploration of the origins of the U.S. weapons labs; a series of case studies on the government role in energy innovation; a selection of creative non-fiction writings on science policy issues; an abridged edition of John Steelman’s 1947 influential study, "Science and Public Policy"; an assessment of media coverage of genetically-modified foods and media coverage in the U.S. and Britain; and more.

These volumes build on existing or “legacy” content possessed by leading scholars in our community. Or they result from the feverish, high-octane energies of emerging scholars with distinctive voices or perspectives.

“An historic shift in serious, intelligent publishing is under way,” says G. Pascal (Gregg) Zachary, CSPO professor of practice and editor of the series. “We’re joining a vanguard movement that’s redefining the terms of both academic publishing and broadly literate publishing for informed readers with an appetite for demanding, yet accessible works.”

Marissa Huth

communications specialist, School for the Future of Innovation in Society


ASU report: City of Phoenix reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 7.2 percent

December 3, 2013

The City of Phoenix is proving that it’s serious about going green, according to a recent greenhouse gas emissions report compiled by Arizona State University.

In 2008 the city council adopted a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from city operations to five percent below the 2005 levels by 2015. The city met and exceeded that objective within four years. Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton announces 2012 Greenhouse Gas report Download Full Image

The latest report was compiled by Arizona State University’s Sustainability Solution Services, a program within the Global Institute of Sustainability’s Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, and states that in 2012, the city achieved a 7.2 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by emitting 629,504 metric tons of carbon dioxide and carbon dioxide equivalents. When compared to the 2005 total emission of 678,150 metric tons, Phoenix is not only ahead of schedule in reaching its goal, but has gone 2.2 percent beyond its commitment.

“This is great for Phoenix, and I’m very excited to see that we may be able to double or even triple the reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions by 2015,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “We are making Phoenix a cleaner and healthier place to live and work.”

With support and guidance from the mayor and city council members, the city was able to reduce greenhouse emissions through the use of sustainable infrastructures and programs, including advanced methane capture systems at city-owned landfills; biodiesel and ethanol alternative fuels; energy-efficient streetlights, traffic signals, water and wastewater upgrades; energy efficiency measures in more than 45 city buildings; and various city solar power projects.

“The fact that we have exceeded this aggressive goal years ahead of schedule is a testament to the city’s commitment to transforming Phoenix into one of the most sustainable cities in the nation,” said Vice Mayor Bill Gates, chairman of the Finance, Efficiency, and Economy Subcommittee. “This is just one piece of our overall sustainability plan, and I look forward to continuing our track record for success.”

ASU helped assess and verify the results of the greenhouse gas emissions report by comparing the city’s emissions in 2005 and 2012, and evaluating the progress made toward the Climate Action Plan. Huge improvements and changes were made by Phoenix since 2005, particularly in fleet services, where more than 50 percent of city vehicles, including trucks, are now operating on alternative/clean fuel, and through various solar projects.

“By already reaching its 2015 target for emissions reduction, the City of Phoenix has demonstrated its commitment to sustainability practices and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Rajesh Buch, practice lead for the Sustainability Solutions Services at ASU. “Continuing these practices and adopting the recommended actions should not only double emissions reductions by 2015, but also create a more resilient metropolitan region.”

The findings of the 2012 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions Report was released by the mayor, Dec. 3, at the third annual Go Green Conference hosted by the city of Phoenix and ASU’s Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives.

Jason Franz

Senior manager, Marketing and Communications, Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives