Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary ScienceProfile:
Alan H McGowan, a member of the core faculty of the Environmental Studies Program, is Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Science in the Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Mr. McGowan is one of five Executive Editors of Environment, a leading magazine of environmental science and policy; he is the author of numerous articles on science and environmental policy, including “Challenges for Environmental Studies,” which appeared in the March 2004 Environment, and “Environmental Justice for All,” an editorial in the March 2003 issue. Before coming to Lang, he was president of the Scientists’ Institute for Public Information, a bridge between the scientific community and the media. He also founded the Gene Media Forum, a program for journalists on the ethical and political aspects of genetic research. One of his primary interests is in educating and informing the public, including the general student population, on issues in science. He is a member of the Boards of Directors of the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Science, a major oceanographic research station, and the Metcalf Institute of the University of Rhode Island, which runs environmental programs for journalists. He is chair of the board of Student Pugwash, USA, an organization concerned with ethical uses of science and technology. In addition to the study of the relationship of energy use to environmental sustainability, his current research interests also focus on the biological and social conceptions of race in human beings. He is writing a biography of Franz Boas, known as the father of American anthropology, who overturned the notion of “pure” races in human beings.