Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Bizwomen/Anne Stych: Former EPA official calls policies 'destructive'

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Science: Former EPA official calls policies 'destructive'

Anne Stych, Contributing Writer
Aug 1, 2017, 10:40am EDT
Science: Official calls EPA policies 'destructive'

A former director with the agency says the Trump administration is weakening the EPA's mission.

Destructive policies. A top Environmental Protection Agency official who recently stepped down after a 30-year career warned that the Trump administration’s environmental policies will lead to job loss and increased public health and safety risks, The Washington Post reported.

Elizabeth “Betsy” Southerland, former director of science and technology in the agency’s Office of Water, said there’s no question that “the administration is seriously weakening EPA’s mission by vigorously pursuing an industry deregulation approach and defunding implementation of environmental programs.”

Per the Post, Southerland called policies promoted by President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt “destructive.”
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Fellowship created. A New Mexico company has created a fellowship named after its first female director with the goal of attracting more women scientists to its workforce, Albuquerque Business First reported.

The Jill Hruby Fellowship Program was created to recruit more women in the fields of science and technology to Sandia National Laboratories of Albuquerque, a company that develops and engineers products for the nuclear weapon industry.

Women make up about 32 percent of the company's 12,000-employee workforce, a number that has held steady for the past five years.

Hruby became the first woman to lead a national security lab when she took over as labs director at Sandia in 2015, a position she held until April 2017. Hruby worked for the company for 34 years, winning along the way a prestigious R&D 100 award — considered an Oscar for sciences — and holding three patents

Albuquerque has the nation's second-highest average salary for mechanical engineers, with an average local salary of $112,210 last year.

Einstein’s brain. A pioneering neuroscientist who studied how an enriched environment helps the brain grow and examined Einstein’s brain for evidence has died in California at the age of 90.

Marian Cleeves Diamond, a professor emerita of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, changed the way children are raised by first showing that rats provided with toys and companions had more brain activity than those with impoverished environments.

She also gained fame when she examined preserved portions of Albert Einstein’s brain in 1984, and found he had more support cells than average.

Diamond died July 25 at the age of 90.
Anne Stych is a freelance writer in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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