If you were a regular reader of the blog, you may have noticed the post last summer about my blogging sabbatical. I had volunteered to be the “solar coach” for my community, helping my neighbors to learn more about the possibility of having solar power on their homes. It was a fantastic experience. I did a lot of the same kinds of outreach things that I have been doing in genomics for years: videos, talks, booths, and other educational materials.
I knew it would last past the summer, but I wasn’t sure how busy I would be. I was busy. The program deadline got extended into December. And just recently (I think) we finished up with most of the wrap-up stuff.
The outcome: we got 115 neighbors to sign up, for 568 kW of capacity in our community. And we exceeded our goal, which enabled us to get a 5 kW array to be awarded to a local non-profit organization in our community.
I’m really pleased with this. Since the US elections, it hasn’t been clear how much progress we can make on a green energy future, and in our approach to a changing climate. I don’t regret taking time to do that project, even if it was off the genomics path. It’s something I’ll be very proud to look back on.
Also since the election, we’ve been watching some of the impacts on science and genomics issues. Some of them are unsettling. It’s time to be watchful, and it’s time to speak up on various issues. And we can still celebrate interesting work in genomics, and new tools and new features to keep making progress with new knowledge. More to come.