Letter From DC: Remembering Tom Lovejoy

Thomas Lovejoy


A Personal Message From the Executive Director


Image of Meaghan ParkerDecember 29, 2021 — I was lucky to work with Tom Lovejoy on small things over the last 20 years, from the Wilson Center — where he served as the Environmental Change & Security Program's only advisor — to Planet Forward's Advisory Council, where he led young scientists in a storytelling adventure to his beloved Amazon.

I greatly admired and enjoyed his courtly kindness and quiet amazement at the wonders of the world. For all his brilliance, he was soft-spoken and humble, always shining the spotlight on others.

In his very brief remarks at SEJ's 2018 Journalists' Guide to Energy and Environment, he turned the spotlight on SEJ, remarking on "how powerful, in fact, environmental journalism can be as a force for good... Thank goodness for the environmental journalists and for the Society — a collection of just incredibly bright, compelling, and energetic people."

How did he move so easily and powerfully between the worlds he inhabited, the natural, political, journalistic, and academic? In giving grace to all living things, no matter their place in the pecking order — including lowly young editors like me — he gave them power. That was his power.

SEJer Andy Revkin has a round-up of some of the great work he and E.O. Wilson, another great we lost this week, have inspired. And Ben Goldfarb is collecting testimonies on Twitter if you'd like to share yours.

Rest in grace, Tom. I hope that you are quietly amazed at the wonders of the afterlife. And that the rest of us can carry your grace in all of our work, big and small.

Meaghan Parker
Executive Director

Topics on the Beat: