Strange Bedfellows

strangebed“Politics makes strange bedfellows” – Charles Dudley Warner,  1871

A very interesting article in today’s Boston Globe, regarding a deficit in funding for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and its need for funding to the drying up of Federal funding for the Institute.   It made me think about projects and the need to be true to one’s sponsor and to the product of the project, while also staying within all of the constraints (especially budget).

From the article:

“Its famed research vessels and scientists are arrayed across the globe, installing weather instruments off the Cape, tracking water currents in the Labrador Sea, monitoring monsoons in India, and measuring melting ice in Antarctica.

In these and other ways, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is playing a leading role in raising the alarm — and scientific understanding — of the perils of climate change.

But now the nonprofit institution, facing a severe budget crunch as federal research funding is slashed, has a very different sort of venture in the offing: helping oil and gas companies identify new sources of the very fossil fuels believed to be damaging the environment.”

What do you think?  In the story, the Woods Hole officials think they can make this work:

“Woods Hole officials, in a series of interviews during the last two weeks, said they recognize the potential for a clash of interests by working for energy or other private ventures. But they said they are confident such new relationships will not erode the institution’s scientific independence.

They said they can simultaneously continue to do objective climate change research while aggressively recruiting corporate sponsors in the energy and mining sectors.”

We hope so.