Harry Bader is pictured at left Tuesday with Terry Chapin, distinguished professor of biology, emeritus.
After former SNRAS associate professor Harry Bader addressed UAF Research Day attendees April 24, he was presented with an award to recognize his achievements with USAID, a government agency providing U.S. economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide. Bader was recently granted the USAID medal for heroism.
Employed with UAF’s Research Office since January, Bader addressed the role of science in diplomacy. “Scientific method demands humility,” Bader said. “Scientists can never be too strongly wed with an idea. They should never be afraid to admit when they are wrong.”
He noted the increased inclusion of PhD’s in USAID. “Thirteen of the 16 diplomatic goals require science,” he said. Examples include the famine early warning system which helps anticipate destabilization and the Summit 2010 in which social scientists quashed conventional wisdom that poverty and illiteracy cause violent extremism. “Engaged scientists rejected this premise,” Bader said. “Poverty and illiteracy had nothing to do with it; many countries with poverty and illiteracy are not violent.”
Scientists have to understand the infinite complexities and natural and human systems to measure things that are important, Bader said.
While with SNRAS from 1990 to 2001, Bader taught environmental law. He served with USAID as the co-team leader on a joint military/civilian counterinsurgency cell established to deny the enemy human and financial capital derived from the illegal exploitation of natural resources.
Force of Nature, Harvard Law Bulletin, Winter 2012