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The Colorado Hydraulic Fracturing Deal: Amidst Politics, A Chance for Science

News broke this week of a controversial deal in Colorado around hydraulic fracturing. In exchange for the withdrawal of four ballot propositions (two promoting oil and gas development and two regulating it), the state agreed to convene a blue-ribbon panel of stakeholders to discuss how the state should handle oil and gas development. The panel will make policy recommendations to the state legislature and Governor Hickenlooper early next year. What does this mean for fracking in Colorado? 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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Los Alamos Firing Demonstrates Exactly What’s Wrong with Scientific Integrity at the Department of Energy

Yesterday, my colleague Lisbeth Gronlund wrote about the unjust firing of James Doyle, a 17-year employee of Los Alamos National Laboratory. The PhD political scientist was fired over an academic article he wrote on his personal time—not as an official representative of the national lab—that argued for eliminating nuclear weapons. Read More

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Ecoservice: What It Is and Why Scientists Should Do More of It

Guest Bogger

Miranda Redmond, Ph.D. candidate
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado-Boulder

Boulder, Colorado

I am a forest ecologist and ecoservice enthusiast. You may be wondering, “What is ecoservice?” In a recent paper on the subject, Roberto Salguero-Gomez and others defined ecoservice as an activity other than research and teaching assistantships that increases the public’s environmental awareness. Ecoservice may include teaching K-12 students, volunteering at environmental organizations, or organizing workshops for the general public, but it always uses science to educate and engage others about the world around them. Read More

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Sickly Sweet: Fighting Our Addiction to Sugar

Guest Bogger

David Wallinga, MD
Founder and Director, Healthy Food Action

St. Paul, MN

It’s no secret Americans eat (and more often, drink) too much sugar: about 20 teaspoons worth per day, on average. By contrast, recommendations are that women eat no more than about 6 teaspoons worth, 9 teaspoons for men. Read More

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CNN’s Climate Coverage Shows Signs of Improvement

Earlier this year, we released an analysis that examined cable news climate coverage from the top three networks. In 2013, CNN aired inaccurate statements about the science in 30 percent of its climate-change-related segments. Such misleading statements usually took place during debates about established science. Guests, including politicians and commentators, also made inaccurate statements about climate science that often went unchallenged. Read More

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The Endangered Species Act under Attack: Science, Politics, and the Real Meaning of Transparency

The cartoon below has never been more appropriate. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is attacked by political interests with some regularity, but the current proposal from the House Natural Resources Committee threatens to halt much of the science-based work that the law has enabled. Read More

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Sugar, Science, and Your Summer BBQ

With the FDA’s comment period on proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts label—including the labeling of added sugar—coming to a close August 1, I find myself reflecting a bit on the sugar many of us have been consuming over the course of the summer picnic season. Read More

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“Hide No Harm” Bill Will Tip the Balance in Favor of Science and Safety over Corporate Profits

On July 16, Senators Richard Blumenthal (CT), Tom Harkin (IA) and Robert Casey (PA) introduced S. 2615, the “Hide No Harm Act.” Their legislation would impose criminal penalties—fines and even imprisonment—on corporate executives if they knowingly failed to warn the public about life-threatening dangers in their products. Read More

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Too Many Food Companies Still Attack Science, Despite Push for Greater Transparency

In the age of Twitter and online petitions, food companies are doing more to respond to consumer demand for information about what we’re eating, according to Ad Age. But too often, companies are still sidelining and attacking science at the root of consumers’ concerns. It doesn’t have to be this way. Read More

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