The Gulf Oil Spill & Its Long-Term Consequences

CAMBRIDGE, MA – October 14, 2010 – Although the oil rig has been capped and the media craze has died down, there are still many unresolved issues surrounding the ongoing effects of the Gulf oil spill.  Experts from the fields of science, engineering and environmental policy will be tackling these tough issues as the MIT Museum’s fall Soap Box discussion series explores the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in a three-part series titled The Gulf Oil Spill & Its Long-Term Consequences.  Larry Susskind from MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning will discuss how public policy can help us navigate a situation like the Gulf oil spill in the future, while Chris Reddy and Rich Camilli from the MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program will talk about the long-term environment impacts of the Gulf oil spill and the latest field research being conducted in the Gulf.  Following is a schedule for the fall Soap Box discussion series.

Tuesday, October 26 – 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Soap Box:  Negotiating the Gulf Disaster
Larry Susskind, MIT’s Ford Professor of Urban Studies and Planning, and Vice Chair of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, is asking the tough questions.  Should those affected by the Gulf oil spill receive compensatory payments?  What’s the best way to guarantee the future safety of offshore oil and gas facilities?  Add your voice to this important discussion about how public policy can help us prevent or navigate these situations in the future.  Free admission, light refreshments served.


Wednesday, November 10 – 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Soap Box:  Mixing Oil and Ecosystems
While few would praise the April 20th explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig as being a boon to environmental research, there is still much to be learned from this extreme tragedy.  Chris Reddy, marine chemist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution studies how oil spills affect ocean ecosystems, and what role humans have in changing the way nature deals with such events.  Come share your opinions about the long-term environmental impacts of the Gulf oil spill and the risk factors currently at work.  Free admission, light refreshments served.

Wednesday, November 17 – 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Soap Box:  Probing the Plume
What has happened to the oil in the Gulf of Mexico?  Do we really know?  What are we doing to find out?  Rich Camilla, and environmental engineer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, was the Chief Scientist on the June 2010 Endeavor research cruise to investigate the 1.2-mile-wide, 650-foot-high plume that resulted from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Join this interactive discussion session for an up-to-date account of the latest field research in the Gulf.  Free admission, light refreshments served.

Soap Box is an interactive series in which participants of all backgrounds converse with MIT scientists or engineers in an informal café-style setting at the MIT Museum.  Now in its sixth year, Soap Box is the premier public forum for discussing new technological and scientific developments at MIT.

The MIT Museum is open 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Admission – Adults: $7.50; Under 18, Students, Seniors: $3.00; MIT ID and children 5 and under: Free.  The Museum also offers free admission on Sundays between 10:00 a.m. – noon and on the second Friday of each month from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

The MIT Museum’s mission is to engage the wider community with MIT’s science, technology and other areas of scholarship in ways that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.

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