On this day in 1917, Barry Commoner began to grace the world with his presence. Professor Commoner is a scientist and activist who has championed sensible, thoughtful, humane approaches to solving problems from the time when I was too young to know about them. He objected to nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and promoted ecological sensitivity throughout his career. In the 1980s, when he ran for president of the US, he championed reason and applications of science that were visionary—and probably still too liberal for the electorate. In another post I mentioned his recommendation about photovoltaic power then; had it been adopted, the US would probably not have been in several of the pickles that it’s been in over the last 20 years.