Colloquium: Solving Today’s Complex Environmental Challenges: A Physicist’s Perspective as a Recovering Congressional Fellow

Date: February 17, 2017
Time: 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Location: Exploratory Hall L003 (Google map)

Featured Speaker:
Bob Bartolo
Former IEEE Congressional Fellow

Abstract:
Defining and solving complex problems is what physicists do, what we teach to our students, from the behavior of an ideal gas to many body quantum mechanics. Solving societal problems involve many additional complexities and constraints. Some of the most challenging societal problems of our time center on addressing the environmental impacts of burning fossil fuels and finding clean, abundant, sources of energy. This talk views possible approaches and solutions to these problems from the perspective of a physicist who decided to leave the lab bench to try to affect change as a congressional fellow working on Capitol Hill for a year. Some of the themes to be discussed center on what it’s like to work on Capitol Hill as a fellow, the political process and challenges of regulating greenhouse gas emissions, legislation to promote the use of clean vehicles (electric cars and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles), pending energy legislation currently stalled in Congress, and possible roles of the academic community as constituents.

Refreshments will be served.