Free “Reading” from “Photgraph 51”

The public is invited to a free reading of excerpts from the award-winning play, “Photograph 51,” by Anna Ziegler on Wednesday, May 3 at 6:30 pm at the Samaritan Health Education Center at 740 SW 9th St. in Newport. Photograph 51 is the designation given to a famous X-ray diffraction image taken by British chemist Dr. Rosalind Franklin that led to James Watson and Francis Crick’s discovery that the DNA molecule exists in the form of a double helix, for which James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins shared a Nobel Prize in 1962.  Dr. Franklin, at age 37, had died of ovarian cancer a few years earlier and her name was not mentioned when the Nobel Prize was given.  Much of the play deals with the treatment of a fellow scientist who happened to be female, by her male lab co-workers.   Oregon State University’s Valley Library owns the only known original print of the photo.

The full play has been performed in several countries; world-wide coverage was gained when Dr. Franklin was portrayed by Nicole Kidman on stage in 2015 in London’s West End.

The reading of “Photograph 51” was done in March at the Guin Library at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.   A second performance is being done to give others a chance to experience this piece of science history.

The performers in Photograph 51 by Anna Ziegler are from both the Oregon State University and Corvallis community.   Rus Roberts has   performed in numerous local theatre productions and also in the series about women in science, most recently in Lauren Gunderson’s Silent Sky about astronomer Henrietta Leavitt.    Johanna Spencer works for Social Security in Albany and is an OSU theatre grad and a veteran of numerous theatre productions both as an actress and director; Amanda Granrud teaches communication for the INTO program at Oregon State and was active as an interpreter in intercollegiate debate in college; Kryn Freehling-Burton is an instructor of Women Studies and was active in theatre as an undergrad and often uses theatre in her classes; she is a published dramatist.   Harriet Owen Nixon holds a degree in theatre from OSU and has done extensive work in theatre for every performing venue in  the Corvallis area, both as an actress and a director; she recently was Grizabella in the production of CATS at Corvallis High School.  Charlotte J. Headrick is a professor emerita of theatre from Oregon State.  She holds the Ph.D. in theatre from the Univ. of Georgia and is a member of Actor’s Equity Association; she is the co-editor with Eileen Kearney of Irish Women Dramatists, Syracuse University Press.

Protecting the Environment: A Half Century of Progress by the EPA

An excellent overview of the accomplishments made by the EPA in the last 50 years, and why the ongoing support of the EPA and its programs is so important.
America faced significant environmental challenges in the 1960s. We have made significant progress since then, but much remains to be done to sustain that progress and avoid or manage future problems. Many people are not aware of those challenges and the subsequent progress, some because they were born long after the nation’s concerted environmental program commenced.

Consequently, the EPA Alumni Association has prepared this essay, Protecting the Environment: A Half Century of Progress, to tell the story of our nation’s environmental program for those who don’t know or remember it.

The goal of this essay is to inform high school and college students and others about the major environmental problems and issues encountered in the United States in the latter half of the 20th century, how they were addressed, and the importance of continued vigilance in attacking remaining and evolving issues.

Our Half Century of Progress essay presents an overview of the environmental problems that existed, the major actions taken, and the progress made as well as the challenges that remain. It is supported by seven more detailed essays that interested readers can access to learn much more about the challenges and accomplishments of each of the major EPA programs. We hope that these essays will bring about a greater appreciation for the need for effective environmental programs in the future as well as inspire students and others to consider careers in the environmental field.

The September 2016 update of the Half Century of Progress Essay incorporates comments and recommendations from EPA alumni as well as a number of educational professionals, including secondary AP Environmental Science teachers. We are working on a teachers’ guide and welcome comments and suggestions on ways to improve and increase the utility of these materials for use in the classroom.


Half Century of Progress

Earth Day 2017

Nel's New Day

For centuries, indigenous peoples around the world understood the importance of caring for their environment—that “there is no Plan B” for our planet. Smaller religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism appreciate the interdependence between humans and the Earth. Hebrew scriptures, used for Jewish and Christian religions, recognize God’s ownership of the earth, and 750 reference to ecology in the Qu’ran explain caring for the environment. In 2015, Pope Francis wrote Laudato Si (“Care for Our Common Home”), the connection of human behavior to global warming, and defined a sustainable environment as a moral imperative. The Dalai Lama endorsed the pope’s pronouncement.

The European invasion of America was one of destruction. They considered the American natives to be inferior to Anglos and found the two continents’ vast resources useful only for their all-consuming need to become more and more wealthy. In the nineteenth century, men plundered the massive buffalo…

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DDT: Thirteenth Week inside the U.S.

Nel's New Day

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) crowned the week of the March for Science by firing his U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy. Possibly, Murthy’s belief that the over 33,000 deaths and more tens of thousands of woundings from gun violence is a public health issue doesn’t align with DDT’s philosophy. Murthy also believes in vaccinations for children. He had another two years in his four-year term.

Misogynist in Charge of Women’s Issues: DDT has put 31-year-old speech writer Stephen Miller in charge of women’s issues. He has denied the gender wage gap, stating that women just work fewer hours than men; opposed paid maternity leave; and claimed that “in modern-day America, there is a place for gender roles” because closing the gap will force men to give up a “noble career.”

Rally instead of the White House Correspondent’s Dinner: The traditional annual dinner in 2011 to benefit the press association may…

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DDT: Week Thirteen on the Foreign Front

Nel's New Day

Right before Earth Day tomorrow, the planet won a victory when the Treasury Department refused to grant ExxonMobil a waiver for a joint drilling deal in the Black Sea with Russia’s state oil company. Current U.S. sanctions against Russia after its annexation of Crimea require waivers. President Obama opposed the same plan in 2015 after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson created it as Exxon’s CEO. In the words of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), “Are you crazy?” My cynic bone wonders what the current administration is planning that is worse that the waiver to the sanctions.

Thus far, DDT’s only victory in over 90 days was getting Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court although it required breaking Senate rules. Gorsuch made his first public decision—to kill a man. In its rush to kill eight inmates on death row for 24-26 years before state drugs expired, Arkansas decided to kill them…

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Join the March for Science

Nel's New Day

The GOP War on Science is not new, but it gained massive traction with the election of a Republican president and Congress with the possibility of a totally Republican Supreme Court. The idea that science is vital to protecting humanity through effective decision-making is now passé among federal government leaders with the mighty dollar—or billions of them—leading the way. Draconian budget cuts to the EPA, National Institutes of Health, NOAA, NASA, and BLM aren’t enough to satisfy these people; all that funding is going to nuclear weapons and the military. In addition, leadership is muzzling people, attacking evidence, and erasing information about climate change from websites.

This coming Saturday is the 47th anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970. Instead of sitting by and letting conservatives destroy the planet, scientists are coming out of their labs and research areas for the March for Science. The main one…

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Sexual predator Bill O’Reilly should not be rewarded with a $25 million parting gift Fox News President Bill Shine must go

April 20, 2017

Washington, DC – NOW President Terry O’Neill has released the following statement:

“Twenty-five million dollars for a sexual predator is obscene. Fox News needs to show Bill O’Reilly the door without a multi-million dollar payday. And that is not all. Roger Ailes’s hand-picked successor Bill Shine must go, and the Murdoch family must install leadership that actually will end the organization’s culture of sexual and racial harassment. Until that happens, no advertiser should waste their money on this troubled network.”

For Press Inquiries Contact

M.E. Ficarra,, (951) 547-1241