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Message from the Editor: A Fond Farewell

– By Sarah Knight, CMOS Bulletin Editor –

As 2019 comes to a close, so does my time as Editor for the CMOS Bulletin. Three and a half years since I began, a different direction is calling to me, and it is with incredible gratitude for all that I have been a part of with CMOS that I take my leave to further travel down that other path.

Photograph of Sarah Knight CMOS Bulletin Editor

In my time with the Society I have gotten to know a community of people so dedicated and capable, and also so warm-hearted and kind, that I marvel at for their commitment to their research and to working towards a better understanding of all of the layers of this beautiful planet that we live on. I have spoken to so many of you about what you do, and time and time again, been blown away by your knowledge, curiosity and passion. I have attended congresses and sat with a lump in my throat as Arctic researchers talk about the ice disappearing from the spaces that they have dedicated their life’s work to; as Climatologists show where we stand on the line of best and worst case scenarios; as risk and adaptation specialists talk about our lack of preparedness for some of the extreme events that lay ahead.

I have spoken with students working to understand the long-range transport of atmospheric pollutants from their source to Canadian skies; how much mass we are losing from the Greenland ice sheet and at what point it will no longer be able to recover; how the paths of cyclones are changing in response to climate change; and what it all might mean for their future. These young people are willingly embarking into scientific careers that will become increasingly demanding, as the world turns more and more towards science to tell us what is happening: how much? how soon? And yet they have spoken to me with heads full of ideas and hearts full of commitment and I have been privileged enough to enjoy the feelings of hope and possibility that arise in me when I stand among them.

But where does that leave them? How heavy is the weight of hope that I place on their shoulders when the task of righting the incredible imbalance of our changing climate is just so enormous?

This is where I see that CMOS is so important. Yes, the work that the senior scientists do and how you share that work with each other is absolutely essential. But without young scientists willing to fall step behind you, learn from you, take up the reigns when you need to hand them over, and come up with incredibly innovative ideas all of their own, where will it all lead? These young people have most of their lives ahead of them, and with so much uncertainty in the air what we are expecting of them should not be undervalued. Your support, as their mentors and friends, is the foundation from which they can spring forward, and the pillow on which they can rest when they need a break.

I hope that in my time as Bulletin Editor you feel that I have been able to support the Society in getting your important work out to the world. Leading the development of the virtual Bulletin was very joyful for me, as I got to imagine how people all over the world would further benefit from what you all had to share. The english Bulletin site gets on average between 600 and 1,000 visitors each month, the french Bulletin site gets between 150-200. The Future Earth interviews that I put together for the 2017 Congress with the support of the seven CMOS members that I interviewed now have nearly 190,000 listens! So to every one of you that has written an article for the Bulletin or agreed to be interviewed by me, do know that you have made a difference, and that your word has reached at least some of the ears that need to hear them.

We are currently recruiting a new editor for the Bulletin, and I will be working with that person over the coming months as we slowly make the transition, so I am not going anywhere too quickly! All of you, and the Society as a whole, have grown on me very much, and I will ensure to the best of my ability that whoever takes over is in a position to only help you all progress and grow even more.

A huge thanks to executive director Gordon Griffith, to publications director Douw Steyn, to archivist Bob Jones, to office manager Qing Liao, to the current president Kimberly Strong and all of the past presidents, and to so many others in CMOS, for all of the support and kindness over the last few years.

Best wishes to you all in your scientific endeavors,

climate change, CMOS Bulletin, Sarah Knight

For previous issues go to the Archives page on the main CMOS site.