So, here we are. It's raining lightly, and the air coming through my open window smells like pine and fall leaves and the bonfire we just put out.
I actually got into Boston yesterday -- spent the night in Cambridge, somewhere between MIT and Harvard. And then everyone met up for lunch today and drove out here to Essex.
We spent the afternoon talking in-house work stuff -- how to get Expanding Habitats to play better with the other programs at the Petting Zoo. And then we had dinner and drank a bunch of wine and strategized about how we're going to approach the absolutely immense task we've set for ourselves of getting the public and policymakers to take science more seriously.
The problem isn't more or better information communicated in more or better ways. That's been the communications failure of the past. The challenge is engaging the public on its learning curve more effectively, getting them to discuss and consider the choices -- a specific set of them -- for action with their consequences and implications clearly set forth.
That's Dan Yankelovich, liberally borrowed from. Go read him if this problem interests you.
Tomorrow morning, some of us are getting up early to meet up with the Big Dolphin, who will be taking hir dogs for a walk out by the water. The Big Dolphin knows a lot about the water and the creatures that inhabit it -- and the ecosystem it's part of and the people who live within it and influence it. Ze has promised to tell us more about these things as the sun rises and the dogs do what dogs do.
Then we will return and eat breakfast and reconvene our discussions of strategy ... and maybe we'll all have a better idea what we're doing for the next 6 months to a year when it's done.
I guess this is how retreats go.
I fly back to DC tomorrow evening - just as the debate is getting underway.