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Deborah Bailin

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

The Consequences of Killer Cantaloupes

If you follow food safety, you may have heard last week that brothers Eric and Ryan Jensen pled not guilty in federal court to charges of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. Read More

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Survey Says? Forum Attendees Shed Light on the Public’s Discussion on Hydraulic Fracturing

Following the Center for Science and Democracy’s second successful Branscomb forum this past July, Science, Democracy, and Community Decisions on Fracking, we released a toolkit to help communities become more actively engaged on this important issue: Science, Democracy, and Fracking: A Guide for Community Residents and Policy Makers Facing Decisions over Hydraulic Fracturing. Read More

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No Proven Case of Water Contamination?

We have all heard the oft-repeated statement from proponents of unconventional oil and gas development that “hydraulic fracturing does not cause water contamination.” It has come up in relation to controversies over EPA studies in Pavillion, Wyoming, and, most recently, Dimock, Pennsylvania. It has even come up at congressional hearings, where senators were distracted from the more important issue of contamination by the difficulty of pinning down expert witnesses on a simple definition of their terms — whether so-called “fracking” refers to a specific step in the process of extracting oil and gas or more broadly to all of the operations and activities involved. Read More

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Fracking or Hydraulic Fracturing? What’s in a Name?

A few weeks ago, I was telling my mother about the work I do here at UCS’s Center for Science and Democracy. “We’re putting together a forum next month about recent developments in natural gas and oil extraction and public access to information, “ I said, “It’s called Science, Democracy, and Community Decisions on Fracking.” Read More

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Where Is the Scientist?

I haven’t yet seen Josh Fox’s latest film salvo opposing hydraulic fracturing Gasland Part II. I plan on seeing it soon, given the role of natural gas in our nation’s energy future. But, in the meantime, I did have the chance to listen to the Diane Rehm Show today. Fox and his film were the subjects of the show, and Diane interviewed Fox, along with Steve Everley, a spokesperson from the industry group Energy in Depth. There was also a reporter from ProPublica, Abrahm Lustgarten. Read More

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An Independence Day Tribute to Science and Democracy: Eight Great Quotes by U.S. Presidents

Admittedly, not every American president is remembered for his eloquence. More than a few, however, have spoken insightfully and inspiringly about the inseparable relationship between science and our democracy. From George Washington to Barack Obama, in the words of both Republicans and Democrats, our presidents express continuity in their thinking about the essential role of science in American society. Read More

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The Sciences, the Humanities, and the Sequester: Partners in Democracy at Risk

As a current ACLS Public Fellow, I had the privilege earlier this month of attending this year’s American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD. ACLS advances learning in all fields of the humanities and social sciences and supports relationships among 71 national societies devoted to these fields. The conference is a gathering of delegates from member societies, a chance for research fellows to share their work, and an opportunity for everyone to discuss the current state of the humanities and social sciences in our society today. Read More

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The Nation and the Scientist

Over the last year or so since the launch of UCS’s Center for Science and Democracy, my colleagues and I have been thinking a lot about what science meant to America’s Founding Fathers and why we should care today in 2013. Read More

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Of Birds and Bats and Civet Cats: Why We Need Scientists to Collaborate on the New Avian Flu

Just as the deadly Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2003 reaches its 10th anniversary, we find ourselves confronting the recent emergence of the new H7N9 avian influenza virus—an uncomfortable reminder of what a close call the world had with SARS as a potential pandemic. Read More

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