2013-11-20: Dinner Meeting Honoring Local Section Awardees, Speaker: Dr. Raymond Schmidt

Section Dinner Meeting
Honoring our recent Awardees and
Dr. Robert de Groot, ACS Outreach
Volunteer of the Year

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Taix French Restaurant
1911 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

“Understanding Scientific Realities and the Risks at the Policy/Politics and Public Interfaces”

Dr. Raymond Schmidt
Institute on Science for Global Policy

Check-in: 6:00 pm
Dinner: 7:00 pm
Presentation: 8:00 pm

In addition to our featured speaker for this evening, we will be honoring Dr. Robert de Groot, the inaugural ACS Outreach Volunteer of the Year; our 2013 Fellows, Barbara Belmont, Dr. Carlos Gutierrez, and Dr. Charles Knobler; and our Western Regional Meeting Award Recipients, Dr. Rita Boggs (Ann Nalley Award) and Michael Morgan (Excellence in High School Teaching).

Abstract: It’s a long way from breakthrough discoveries at our lab benches to the policies that guide these innovations to benefit human-kind. The Food Safety, Security, and Defense topic will be used to illustrate the complexity of global sourcing, trade barriers, and information issues involved in most of the everyday food products we consume. The discussion will identify policy issues in today’s “just-in-time,” “eat more fresh fruits and vegetables,” year-around access, and globally traded products we now find in our local supermarkets. Policies are intended to protect the consumer and insure higher quality, disease- and injury-free foods. With the increasing diversity of cultures in local areas, the diversity of tastes and provisions is increasing with new testing methods needed to insure quality and identify infectious food-borne microbes. People can die from uncleaned, spoiled, contaminated or diseased imported or domestic food products. When something goes wrong, an appointed or elected policy official must make rapid critical decisions on less than perfectly convincing evidence, that can have billion dollar impacts and cost or save hundreds of lives; think epidemic or pandemic. The risks and uncertainty can be high.

A model has been developed by the Institute on Science for Global Policy to engage leading scientists with policy makers and politicians in critical debates and consensus building, to improve the role of scientific evidence in national and global policy discussions. While the Institute takes no preconceived position on the issues, all viewpoints must be aired and debated. The talk will illustrate the process, benefits and the resulting areas of consensus (AOC) and actionable next steps (ANS) as policies get formulated, implemented, refined and/or improved. The model also has application to the debate of highly controversial technical subjects with the less well informed general public, our non-scientific friends, neighbors and local communities; (think fracking, climate change and GMOs). Hopefully, the world will be a better place as a result.

Biography: Raymond Schmidt, Ph.D. (Emory Univ., Postdoc Caltech) is a newly minted 50 year ACS alumni and a Senior Fellow with the Institute on Science for Global Policy (http://scienceforglobalpolicy.org/) while still actively involved in his local community. He serves on the board of the PIH Health Insurance Co., chairs their Claims/Risk/Underwriting committee and is on the PIH Health Community Benefits Oversight Committee, Whittier Public Library Foundation Treasurer, YMCA Director and Finance committee, Elder/Trustee of his church, and a Rotarian and local club past president. Before retirement, he was a chemistry professor and an industrial R&D scientist leading inter-disciplinary multi-company teams to develop new oil recovery techniques and to commercialize innovative petroleum and geothermal production methods in California, northern Alberta and Indonesia as the corporation’s technology liaison for oil, gas and geothermal issues. He has a strong interest in organizational effectiveness and high quality outcomes.

Reservations: There is a choice of Coq au Vin (chicken with wine sauce) or Beef Bourguignon for dinner. The cost of the dinner is $33 including tax, tip, and wine with dinner; cash or check at the door. Please call Nancy Paradiso in the Section Office at 310 327-1216 or email office@scalacs.org by Monday, November 18th.

Directions: To access Google maps from the Taix French Restaurant website, go to http://taixfrench.com/contact-us/