Consortium for Ocean Leadership Letter on Ocean Science, National Security, International Collaboration, and Science Communication
President and CEO RADM Jon White (Ret.): Our National Security Depends on Attracting the Brightest Minds and Sharing Science
In a letter released today, the Consortium for Ocean Leadership President and CEO RADM Jon White (USN, ret.) calls on President Trump to recognize the important role that science, particularly ocean science, plays in our nation’s security and prosperity and to take science into consideration when contemplating governmental actions and policy. “Ocean science has provided the U.S. with tangible military advantage on, under, and above the sea for decades,” he states. “From our nautical victories during the earliest days of the U.S. Navy, to the success of maritime operations in all theaters of World War II, to our undersea dominance during the Cold War, ocean knowledge (developed through partnerships with international allies) has been key.”
White also emphasizes public access to peer-reviewed science is critical to advancing scientific knowledge and securing the ensuing benefits. He states, “Without the ability to communicate scientific findings and advancements, we lose tangible products and outputs upon which our nation depends. When ocean science is communicated to the public, our nation reaps the benefits on every scale – from people checking their weather app to plan their day; to building seasonal forecasts into a business model to know when, what, and where to ship products; to complex hurricane modeling that informs emergency management’s evacuation decisions; to accurate forecasting that yields the best crop production; to better maritime domain awareness that protects our commerce and our coastlines.”
Finally, he ties in the importance of strong international relations and collaboration, which have resulted in scientific advancements that benefit both our nation and those around the globe. These include the value of scientists who have immigrated to the U.S., such as Nikola Tesla (who contributed advances in electricity and radio development) and the worldwide scientific collaborations that have made our nation’s citizens safer (such as improved weather forecasting and alerts from a shared international network of weather satellites). In closing, he asks the president “When contemplating governmental actions (whether temporary or permanent) that could impact the immigration of good scientists and limit the exchange of science communications, I ask that you also consider the significant, potential impact on our “scientific superiority,” which is and has always been of great benefit to America.”
The full letter can be found here.