Science and Democracy

The partnership between science and democracy has played a huge role in U.S. history. But misinformation and attacks on science have strained that partnership. UCS science and democracy experts keep you informed on the latest developments, from Capitol Hill to local communities.

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Latest Science and Democracy Posts


New UCS Report Documents Chemical Pollution “Double Jeopardy” For Houston Communities

Ron White, , UCS

Imagine you live in a community surrounded by oil refineries, a large metal shredding facility, chemical and cement manufacturing facilities, as well as numerous other heavy industries that emit toxic pollution. Now add the stress and health impacts from frequent industrial facility incidents that result in the release of toxic chemicals into your community. For the residents of two east Houston communities, Harrisburg/Manchester and Galena Park, they don’t need to imagine this frightening scenario—this is their everyday reality. Read more >

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The Lashto Fish Farm, Toucan Carré, Haiti. Photo: NRG Energy, Inc.

Breaking Down Barriers: Publishing Open Access Science for Sustainability

Anne Kapuscinski, , UCS

In my new role of Chair of the Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), I had the great honor of joining UCS’ delegation at the Paris COP21 climate meeting last December. A clear message from Paris was that we must rapidly transition to a net-zero and climate-resilient society. Scientists at the recent 1.5 Degrees Conference at Oxford University, co-sponsored by UCS, underscored the magnitude of the challenge. And, on Food Day, my public conversation with Michael Pollan at Dartmouth mentioned that agroecology research shows a clear opportunity to help transition our nation’s food system to sustainability, a goal of Plate of the Union. Read more >

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Latinos Face Economic and Health Threats from Climate Change—and Demand that Our Leaders Take Action

, Kendall Science Fellow

I grew up in the warm and humid latitudes of Puerto Rico. My homeland is in the tropical climatic zone so there are no stark seasonal differences in temperature like those found at lower or higher latitudes outside of the tropics. But from my childhood I recall a slight drop in nighttime temperatures around December—popularly known as the “aires navideños”, or the “Christmas breeze” that heralded the start of the jolly holiday season in Puerto Rico. Read more >

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Talking Conflicts of Interest, Bias, and Sunshine in the Dietary Guidelines

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

Yesterday, I testified at a meeting of the National Academy of Medicine advisory committee to review the process to update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. You might remember that Congress mandated the formation of this committee earlier this year. Their first charge is to write a report with recommendations on how the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) selection process can be improved to provide more transparency, minimize bias, and include committee members with a range of viewpoints. This is a topic we’ve thought a lot about here at the Center for Science and Democracy. Read more >

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Antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array

Celebrating Science and Hispanic Heritage Month: A Conversation with Hector Arce

, program manager, Center for Science & Democracy

Diversity strengthens science. It’s more than just a matter of fairness and equity—diverse groups of people create better science. Yet it should come as no surprise that people of color continue to be underrepresented in science and engineering. Some people and organizations are doing their best to change that. Read more >

Photo: European Southern Observatory/CC-BY 4.0
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