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Representative Rush Holt visits and speaks to CO2 Workshop

Representative Rush Holt adressing the Second Biennial CO2 Workshop.November 9, 2012. Princeton, NJ. Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ 12th District) visited the Department of Chemistry today to address attendees of the Second Biennial CO2 Workshop, organized by Andrew Bocarsly, professor of chemistry. Prior to the talk he met with David MacMillan, chair, and Martin Semmelhack, associate chair, discussed current initiatives within the department and toured the facilities of "the new Frick."

Representative Holt, recently re-elected to his eighth term in Congress, a research physicist and former Assistant Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, spoke to attending scientists about bringing a scientific perspective to Congress and matters of policy, "Scientists are trained to deal with uncertainty, to deal with evidence and statistical reasoning, things that are lacking in the political debate… It's not how strongly you believe something, it's what the evidence says." Holt frankly stated that in the current Congress the opposition "sabotaged" efforts to address the issue of climate change. He acknowledged the complexity of the issue and the challenges of communicating the science to the public. In summary, Holt challenged the assembled scientists to "take some time out of the lab doing science" to make clear in the public dialogue the stakes and the science of their findings on climate change.

David MacMillan, chair of chemistry; Representative Rush Holt, and Martin Semmelhack, associate chair; in discussion in the Frick Chemistry Laboratory