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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 came to UCS in 2012 as an ACLS Public Fellow and holds a PhD in English from the University of Maryland. Subscribe to Deborah's posts

“Climate Change Invaded My Field”: A Conversation with Historian and Science Advocate Steven Leibo

At the American Historical Association’s annual meeting earlier this month, I had the pleasure of meeting Steven Leibo, a professor of history, leader for the Climate Reality Project, and long-time UCS supporter. During the Q&A for a session on teaching history to STEM students, Professor Leibo remarked on the need for building better bridges between historians and scientists. After the talk, he graciously allowed me to interview him about why these bridges are important through the lens of his own work. Read More

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New Report from the Endangered Species Coalition Celebrating 40 Years of Success

No bird is more iconic to Americans’ sense of national identity and pride than the bald eagle. This majestic creature was chosen by the Continental Congress in 1782 to symbolize the United States because of its strength and longevity. A bird that lives on the tops of mountains and swoops through boundless spaces, it appears on the Great Seal of the United States and represents the freedom the Founding Fathers saw at the heart of our democracy. Read More

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Talking Turkey: Saying “No Thanks” to the Poultry Rule This Thanksgiving

You don’t have to be a vegetarian to appreciate the foulness of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposed Poultry Rule. Many critics, including the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards, of which UCS is a member, have pointed out that the rule ignores evidence pertaining to human health and worker safety. Others have argued it is inhumane. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), in a report released earlier this year, found that the proposed rule is based on limited scientific data and inadequate evaluation of USDA pilot projects. Read More

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New CREW Report on Fracking Industry Contributions to Congressional Candidates

There’s nothing new about special interests using money to influence politicians. And it’s no secret that this spending has been on the rise across the board recently, notably following in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling in 2010. Read More

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5 Ways the Shutdown Will Continue to Be a Drag for Early Career Scientists

All the world is not a stage. The recent theatrics in Congress over raising the debt ceiling and reopening the government have made some people laugh, others cry, and still others simply deny the seriousness of the issues. With the immediate fiscal crisis now behind us and the government again open for business, some people may believe that our troubles, at least for the moment, are behind us, too. But for early career scientists—graduate students, postdocs, and even talented undergraduates—the shutdown has had very real, concrete consequences. Read More

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Fracking and My Community’s Socioeconomic Stability: Will My Boomtown Go Bust?

with Susan Christopherson, Ph.D. Professor, Cornell University, Department of City and Regional Planning

The U.S. conversation surrounding recent oil and gas development through hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and newer technologies like horizontal drilling frequently centers around risks to the environment—to water and air—and to public health. At the national level, these risks are juxtaposed against the promise of jobs and energy independence. Read More

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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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