Milton Garces named 2011 PopTech Science and Public Leadership Fellow

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Marcie N W Grabowski, (808) 956-3151
SOEST Outreach Coordinator, SOEST
Posted: Aug 5, 2011

Milton Garces
Milton Garces

PopTech, the global social innovation incubator and thought leadership network, today announced its 2011 class of Science and Public Leadership Fellows, including Milton Garces, Associate Researcher at the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Garcés works with very low frequency atmospheric sound, or infrasound, which is generally produced by large things that blow up. Infrasonic sources include volcanoes, meteors, tsunamis, high surf and severe weather – geophysical processes that may pose a threat to life and property. Garcés studies how the continuous streams of deep sound from stations distributed across the world can provide early warning of geophysical and geopolitical hazards. His work has been featured on PBS, National Geographic and Discovery Channels, as well as WiredNew Scientist and Free Surf magazines. Garcés work with infrasound underscores our global connectedness, and contributes to enhancing our situational awareness at large scales.  

Designed to address the critical need for scientists to be collaborative and socially engaged public communicators, the Science and Public Leadership Fellows program acknowledges the significant role science plays in improving society. Committed to accelerating the positive impact of world-changing people, projects and ideas, PopTech identifies and nurtures rising scientists to collaborate among their peers and to become visible leaders within both the scientific and public realms. The 2011 class of Science and Public Leadership Fellows includes ten dynamic scientists hailing from diverse areas of study, including cognitive neuroscience, materials science and computer science, to name a few.

Scientists often receive little training in leadership, collaboration and communication as they pursue admirable, impactful research endeavors in their fields. To help address this issue, PopTech selects high potential, early- and mid-career working scientists and provides them with intensive, high-quality training, a powerful social network, ongoing mentoring and opportunities for scientific and public leadership and engagement. The yearlong 2011 Science and Public Leadership Fellows program begins with a special leadership retreat at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, DC. The Fellows then present their work on stage at the annual PopTech 2011 conference, taking place October 19-22 in Camden, Maine. The Fellows’ stage talks can be found on the PopTech website at following the conference.   

“It’s with pride and great excitement that we announce the 2011 class of Science and Public Leadership Fellows,” said Andrew Zolli, PopTech’s Executive Director. “The most critical issues our society faces call for scientific collaboration, counsel and insight. Whether it’s public policy, medical and social advancements, or environmental action – scientists can contribute honest assessments and guidance to such discourse. Visible scientific leaders shouldn’t be a rarity and we believe the Science and Public Leadership Fellows program helps to fill this gap.”

“Microsoft Research is thrilled to continue its support for PopTech’s Science and Public Leadership Fellows program, which provides the resources and networks that help these scientists to become empowered public communicators and collaborators in their respective fields of research,” said Tony Hey, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Research Connections, a division of Microsoft Research. “We proudly stand behind these chosen scientists, who are tackling some of the world’s toughest challenges.”

"We have invested in the Fellows because we believe that now, more than ever, scientists must contribute to the public dialogue and help guide policy decisions,” said Elizabeth Christopherson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Rita Allen Foundation. “We want to encourage these outstanding young scientists and equip them to fully engage in discourse, provide facts and offer solutions.”

“At National Geographic, where the mission is to inspire people to care about our planet, we believe that great stories well told are one of the most effective ways to engage the public. We are delighted to partner with our friends at PopTech to identify, encourage and enlist scientists who can be meaningful voices and story tellers across a wide range of disciplines,” said Betty Hudson, Executive Vice President, Communications, National Geographic Society.

PopTech is grateful to its partners and supporters, without whom this vital and innovative program would not be fully realized. The following have had an integral role: Microsoft Research, the Rita Allen Foundation, National Geographic, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the National Science Foundation. PopTech would also like to extend gratitude to the world-renowned advisory board that assisted with recruitment of the 2011 class of Fellows and with the program’s leadership training retreat.

The following is the full class of 2011 Science and Public Leadership Fellows:

Press release content provided by Becky Sennett, PopTech.