Scenes from the 2016 Pauling Legacy Award Event

A full house gathered at the Oregon Historical Society Museum last week to hear Dr. Jane Lubchenco deliver her 2016 Linus Pauling Legacy Award address, “Scientists Making Waves and Bringing Hope.”

In her presentation, which is available online here, Lubchenco detailed a collection of scientific activities and policy initiatives that are helping to rehabilitate the world’s fisheries and that inspire optimism for the health of our oceans moving forward.

Lubchenco’s talk focused in particular on the positive impact that the implementation of Rights-Based fisheries management policies have made in promoting sustainable fishing practices world-wide. In addition, the creation of marine reserves and the formation of international agreements to more strictly police and prosecute illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing, have fostered, in Lubchenco’s view, an increasingly stable marine environment in which the ocean’s bounty might be rehabilitated and used more widely.

A few images from a memorable evening are included below.

[All photos by Mike Dicianna.]

Jane Lubchenco is the 2016 Linus Pauling Legacy Award Recipient


Dr. Jane Lubchenco

We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Jane Lubchenco will receive the 2016 Linus Pauling Legacy Award in Portland, Oregon on Tuesday, April 26th.

Lubchenco will receive the Legacy Award and deliver a lecture at an event that is free and open to the public.  Details are as follows.

Scientists Making Waves and Bringing Hope

2016 Linus Pauling Legacy Award Lecture, to be delivered by Dr. Jane Lubchenco.

Tuesday, April 26th, 7:30 PM.

Oregon Historical Society Museum, 1200 SW Park Ave., Portland, Oregon.


President Obama receives a briefing in the Situation Room of the White House on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, July 21, 2010. Lubcheno is seated at right.

Dr. Lubchenco holds the title of university distinguished professor and advisor in Marine Studies at Oregon State University and was formerly the administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and under secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. She is the ninth recipient of the Legacy Award, which was first given in 2001 to recognize achievement in an area once of interest to Linus Pauling.

In addition to her work at Oregon State University, Lubchenco is currently serving as the first U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean and is an international expert on marine ecology, environmental science and climate change. She is a pioneer in the development of marine protected areas and reserves and in fisheries reform, which are complementary efforts to return fisheries to sustainability and profitability while also protecting habitats and biodiversity.

With a Ph.D. in ecology from Harvard University, Lubchenco is one of the most highly cited ecologists in the world, and she has received numerous awards including a MacArthur “genius” award and 20 honorary doctorates. Her academic career as a professor began at Harvard University and continued at Oregon State University (1977-2009) until her appointment as Administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Following her work at NOAA, Lubchenco was Distinguished Visitor in Public Service at Stanford University and then she returned to Oregon State.

The OSU Libraries Special Collections and Archives Research Center has conducted two oral history interviews with Lubchenco, which are available online. Lubchenco also participated in a conference that was organized by the OSU Libraries in 2007 and titled “The Scientist as Educator and Public Citizen.” Her lecture from that event, “Advocates for Science: The Role of Academic Environmental Scientists,” may be viewed here.

Lubchenco’s lecture in Portland is wheelchair accessible. Individuals requiring other accommodations should contact Don Frier at 541-737-4633 or by April 20 so that appropriate arrangements can be made.


The Pauling Legacy Award Medal

The Linus Pauling Legacy Award was founded in 2001 by Pauling’s eldest son, Linus Pauling Jr., and was originally named the Linus Pauling Centennial Award.  The Oregon State University Libraries assumed administrative responsibilities for the award in 2004 and have granted it biennially ever since.

Past recipients have included four Nobel Prize winners – Joseph Rotblat (2001), Roderick MacKinnon (2008), Roger Kornberg (2010), and Roald Hoffmann (2012). Honorees receive a framed certificate, an engraved medallion, and an honorarium of $2,000.

Pauling on Global Warming

Participants in the 2007 Pauling Conference.  Dr. Lubchenco stands in the back row, second from left.  Dr. Washington is seated on the far left.

Participants in the 2007 Pauling Conference. Dr. Lubchenco stands in the back row, second from left. Dr. Washington is seated on the far left.

President-elect Obama’s recent nomination of Oregon State University’s Dr. Jane Lubchenco as head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been big news in this community of late.

We had occasion to work with Dr. Lubchenco a bit last year, as she was one of the speakers who presented at our conference, “The Scientist as Educator and Public Citizen: Linus Pauling and His Era.”  In her talk, “Advocates for Science: The Role of Academic Environmental Scientists,” Dr. Lubchenco spoke very effectively on a number of issues, focusing in part on the epidemic of over-fishing that has devastated the world’s fisheries to the point where, in her words, “we have pretty much exhausted much of the oceans.”

Another issue on which Dr. Lubchenco has spoken out forcefully is that of global warming.  This got us to thinking a bit about a short statement that Linus Pauling issued in 1991 which, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, touched on that very issue.

In response to an invitation to attend the Fifth World Congress on Alternatives and the Environment, to be held in Prague, Vienna and Bratislava in June 1991, the ninety-year old Pauling issued his regrets at not being able to attend, but did send along a “Statement on Alternative Energy” to be read as part of the conference proceedings.

For the last several decades of his life, Pauling was a vocal opponent of nuclear power initiatives, and much of his statement to the Fifth Congress focuses on these objections. In the second paragraph, however, Pauling includes these thoughts

I am also opposed to the continued use of fossil fuels, coal and petroleum, which are burned to provide energy….[in part because] the liberation of heat from fossil-fuel power plants…serves to destroy the thermal balance of the earth, as determined by radiation from the sun and loss of energy by radiation from the earth.

Clearly, long before it had hit the mainstream, global warming was an issue of concern to Linus Pauling.

Alternative Sources of Energy,

For those who are interested in learning more about the topic of global warming, we highly recommend this presentation by OSU alum Dr. Warren Washington, the head of the Climate Change Research Section in the Climate and Global Dynamics Division at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Likewise, both Dr. Washington and Dr. Lubchenco (along with Pauling biographer Thomas Hager and historian Lawrence Badash of UC-Santa Barbara) participated in this panel discussion, which closed the 2007 conference.