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Deborah Bailin

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About the author: Deborah Bailin is a democracy analyst for UCS’s Center for Science and Democracy and researches political and societal barriers to formulating science-based policies. She came to UCS in 2012 as an ACLS Public Fellow and holds a PhD in English from the University of Maryland, where she studied the cultural influence of Darwin on American literature. Subscribe to Deborah's posts

Access Denied? A Survey of Science Writers Sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Union of Concerned Scientists

Earlier this year, the Center for Science and Democracy published a report on media policies at 17 federal agencies. More than four years after the Obama administration had issued a directive ordering reform of federal scientific integrity policies—including those governing media access—we found evidence that public communications are too often censored, constrained, or funneled through agency media offices. Read More

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2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: In Support of Limiting and Labeling Added Sugar

Yesterday morning, I took a detour from my usual routine. Instead of strolling the 2 miles from my house to UCS’s office on K Street in Washington, DC, I hopped on the metro and rode up to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. There I met two other UCS researchers to attend a public hearing on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s scientific report with one consistent message: that we support the committee’s recommendations. Below is a copy of my testimony. Read More

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Big Sugar Is Watching You: Four Ways the Food Industry Is Trying to Rig the Game

Most of us ask a doctor for advice about our health. We consult a dentist about care for our teeth. No one queries General Mills, the maker of sugary Lucky Charms and Betty Crocker cake mixes, for the latest science on diabetes or cardiovascular disease. And no one in their right mind calls up Coca-Cola or PepsiCo for evidence-based guidance on sugar and dental disease. Read More

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Baltimore against the Measles: A Victory for Science, but for How Long?

When I was an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University, I had only a dim awareness of the measles outbreak then raging through Baltimore. I was fully vaccinated, spent most of my time on campus, and lived in university housing among mostly white, middle and upper-middle class students, who were also fully vaccinated. Measles, for me, was a remote thing, despite its proximity. It didn’t happen to anyone I knew. Read More

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Big Sugar Bad for Babies, CDC Scientists Say—but Food Industry Disagrees

A new CDC study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, tells us something about infants and sugar that is worrisome, though not especially surprising if you’ve been following the food industry’s efforts to mislead the public and influence the science and policy on added sugar. Read More

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Toward Science-Based Children’s Environmental Health Policies

Imagine a world where all children grow up playing, learning, and dreaming in communities free from violence, racism, poverty, hunger, life trauma, and poisons that limit their potential. Imagine their health and safety encompassing physical, mental, and social well-being—not just the absence of disease. Read More

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3 Ways of Looking at a Peanut Butter Sandwich—Or, the Challenge of Avoiding Added Sugar

If you haven’t yet seen the movie “the food industry doesn’t want you to see,” now—as the kids are heading back to school—is the perfect time. Preceding our Lewis M. Branscomb forum on science, democracy, and food policy last May, UCS hosted a pre-release screening of Fed Up that left audience members setting aside their sugary drinks and greasy tubs of popcorn in awe.   Read More

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Does Domino Sugar Want You to Swallow Sugar-coated Science—All for a Good Cause?

A smoker-friendly tobacco festival to prevent lung cancer. A car rally to reduce air pollution. A mud wrestling contest to improve hygiene. Or, how about a bake sale to solve malnutrition and hunger in America? Read More

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Sugar Association Sweet-Talks Attendees at a Diabetes Conference

“Sugar gets a bad rap.”

According to the Sugar Association, this was, apparently, the sentiment expressed by a majority of the attendees that stopped by the trade group’s booth earlier this summer at the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) Annual Meeting. Read More

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New Vaccine Misinformation Book Gets the Science Wrong

Fears about vaccines have been around for as long as vaccines have. Ben Franklin, like our other founding fathers, knew a thing or two about these fears—before the first real vaccine was even invented.

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