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

Putting Science Into Practice: Why We Need to Play Our Part

Angie Carter, , UCS

I cross the Mississippi River between Davenport, Iowa and Rock Island, Illinois almost daily. During the winter months, I’m thankful when the stoplight across the bridge turns yellow, then changes to red, giving me time to count the many eagles nesting and fishing along the slough by the lock and dam. That any of these eagles are here today is testament to the research of Rachel Carson, an ecologist whose public science shaped the course of policy and inspired the birth of the environmental movement in the United States. Read more >

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Why the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act Is Bad for Science

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

Congress’ perennial bill, the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act, has again reared its ugly head. The bill seeks to change the requirements for the EPA’s advisory committee to give industry greater influence while adding extra burdens that make it harder for the committee to meet its charge of providing science advice. It would also have the side effect of dissuading scientists from serving on this advisory committee because of future restrictions to obtaining EPA funding. Read more >

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House Science Chairman Lamar Smith's HONEST Act is anything but an honest act. It hamstrings the EPA from carrying out its mission of protecting public health and the environment. Cartoon by Jesse Springer, Springer Design & Illustration

A Dishonest Proposal: The House Science Committee Resurrects EPA Secret Science Nonsense in the HONEST Act

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

This week, Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Lamar Smith will officially mark up a new (but not really improved) version of his long championed but always nonsensical Secret Science Act. Now rebranded as the Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act (HONEST Act), the bill effectively prevents the EPA from using the weight of scientific evidence to protect public health and the environment. Read more >

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NOAA’s coastal data and research are vital to the efforts of coastal communities to plan and prepare for coastal change, including rising seas. Photo: NOAA

President Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts: Hurting NOAA Hurts America

, senior analyst, Climate & Energy Program

Here’s a simple recipe for angering millions of Americans: take away something they heavily depend on. News reports this weekend indicate that the Trump administration is proposing to do just that by making deep cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) budget. Congress would be wise to get a handle on what these cuts mean and ensure they are dead on arrival. Read more >

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President Trump’s Opening Salvos on Clean Water—and Other Public Health Safeguards

, executive director

Earlier this week, we heard two things from President Trump about clean water. In his address to the joint session of Congress on Tuesday night, he talked about protecting and ensuring clean water. That’s an important goal and one broadly shared by the American public.

But a day earlier, he signed an Executive Order (EO) to get rid of a rule that would actually help keep water clean. And two weeks before that, he signed off on a congressional action that rolled back a rule limiting the coal mining industry from dumping mining waste in streams and waterways. There’s some serious cognitive dissonance going on here. Read more >

Photo: Marine Jaouen/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, Flickr
Graphic: EPA
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