Embrace New Media, Bayer CEO Tells Chemical Company Execs

Smart advice to a Pittsburgh audience from Greg Babe, president and CEO of Bayer Corp. and Bayer MaterialSciences LLC, speaking Tuesday evening to 500 attendees at the annual chemical industry dinner. The Pittsburgh Business Times was on hand, reporting, “Bayer Corp. CEO Babe says chemical leaders must embrace new media“:

“There is an immense chasm,” Babe said, between “our expectations and what people know. Many people fear our industry.”

To try to combat this fear and misunderstanding, Babe called on industry leaders to opening communicate with the public and with government. To do this education and outreach need to be emphasized, he said; every employee in an organization needs to be an ambassador, and companies need to embrace new communication technology that can allow direct interaction with people without the filter of a government official or the media.

“If we truly want to be relevant today we need to be communicating on new media,” he said.

Almost as if to prove the point, Areva’s Next Energy Blog reports that an advocate for nuclear power effectively made his case to a Scientific American writer and blogger, John Horgan, a critic of nuclear power. The exchange, starting with Horgan:

I bashed Barack Obama for trying to revive nuclear power. Nuclear energy materials, equipment and expertise can be diverted toward building nuclear weapons, I fretted, and every reactor and waste repository represents a potential dirty bomb. I reiterated these anxieties in an online chat on Bloggingheads.tv , a segment of which was aired by The New York Times.

Nicely done on everyone’s part. Great to see an online discussion on nuclear energy with such civility and open mindedness and intelligent discussion on all sides.

Then Rod Adams e-mailed me. Adams is a U.S. Navy officer who served on nuclear submarines, founded a firm to promote small reactors and blogs about nuclear power at Atomic Insights (highly recommended). Adams asked if I would like to talk to him on Bloggingheads.tv , and I said sure…

And after listing some of the key points in their online discussion, Horgan closes with:

I still dream of a breakthrough in solar energy that gives us a truly clean, cheap, inexhaustible source of energy. But because of Rod Adams, I’m giving nuclear power a closer look.


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