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The Sciences

1.0 part Grammy, 1.0 part PhD.. Framing The Perfect Political Cocktail

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJune 20, 2007 8:00 PM

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posted by Sheril R. Kirshenbaum

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We all know music is powerful. It moves and motivates us. Makes us feel something. The latest issue of Vanity Fair features Bono as guest editor and draws attention to AIDS, genocide, and poverty in Africa. Folks at the magazine seem to be getting accustomed to framing important social and environmental issues by way of celebrity icons in order to reach out to a broad demographic. They've also figured out that a social conscience is more fashionable and profitable these days than even the latest from Manolo. Just weeks ago we saw Leo and Knut the polar bear cub on the front of the Green Issue. Well Vanity Fair isn't alone. June's Rolling Stone - printed on paper produced through a process that they claim creates zero CO2 emissions - is on Climate Change. Recently, the NRDC and Green Day joined forces in a collaborative Move America Beyond Oil Campain. Just one click on Global Cool and you'll see these are not isolated examples. The world is changing. Same hold true in politics. Hillary's choice of campaign theme song made prime time news last night. And while countless brilliant scientists passed through the Hart Senate office building last year, it's the clamor of the night Wyclef Jean played a private show for staffers to spread awareness of Yele Haiti that stands out in my mind. Every time I hear his music, I remember the cause. While I don't discount the credentials of scientists who actually do the critical research, I assure you Science and Nature are not what staffers are circulating around Congressional offices. The worlds of pop and science are not mutually exclusive and in terms of influencing policy, the right combination of each makes for the perfect policy cocktail.

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