Thursday, April 9, 2015

More on Joseph Sax

At the recent ASEH conference in Washington, DC I attended an interesting panel commemorating Joseph Sax and examining his influence in several fields. The organizers of the panel have created a website with the panel presentations, as well as other resources on this important figure in the history of environmental law.

Also on the same topic, I recently came across Mark Van Putten's "Making Ideas Matter: Remembering Joe Sax", recently published in the Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law. The abstract:
Joe Sax made his ideas matter. He had consequential ideas that shaped an entire field—in his case, environmental law—both in theory and in practice. His scholarship was first rate and has enduring significance in academia, as evidenced by the fact that two of his law review articles are among the 100 most frequently cited articles of all time. Others are more competent to review the importance of his scholarship; my experience in environmental advocacy is more pertinent to evaluating his impact on environmental policymaking. Here, his ideas have had a greater impact than any other legal academic. As the New York Times observed in the opening sentence of its obituary for Professor Sax, he “helped shape environmental law in the United States and fueled the environmental movement.” As environmental law historian Richard Lazarus put it, Sax “provided much of the strategic blueprint followed by the environmental public interest groups,” which is still followed more than fifty years after he began his career at the University of Colorado Law School in 1962. How did a self-effacing, erudite, bookish professor come to have such an impact?
If you know of other remembrances or other resources having to do with  Prof. Sax, please send them my way, or offer to write something on him for this blog!

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