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President Obama’s State of the Union: What to Expect, and What to Hope For

In his State of the Union speech next Tuesday night, President Obama is expected to focus heavily on challenges like economic inequality and international terrorism. But he is also likely to address at least some of the issues that UCS works on directly, such as climate change and energy. Here’s a quick take on what he may say on these issues, as well as some things he should say, but probably won’t. Read More

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Three Ways Citizens United Helped Undermine Science Policy Debates

Five years ago next week the Supreme Court issued a decision that would soon have major impacts on our political system.  In Citizens United v. FEC, the court ruled that spending limits violated free speech, opening the floodgates to vastly increased political spending by corporate interests. Read More

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Response to Nature’s “Speak up for science;” We Have to Do More

Nature just published a helpful piece from Virginia Gewin on how scientists can deal with people who criticize their work.

I liked the piece and I’m always happy to see scientific journals and scientific societies help researchers communicate. That said, I want to add a few other considerations to the discussion. Read More

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Beware of This Zombie Bill: The Regulatory Accountability Act Returns from the Dead

The House leadership has promised a new day for Congress. Less partisanship, more governing. But it’s hard to believe them when first out of the gate the House chooses to recycle one of its most divisive bills, and one which would greatly harm science-informed policymaking at federal agencies.

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Governor Cuomo is Not a Scientist—So He Asked the Experts

In late October, I wrote about the disturbing trend of politicians copping out of taking public policy positions by saying, “I am not a scientist.” Well, yesterday we heard Governor Andrew Cuomo complete the sentence in a way that I applaud. He said, “…I’m not a scientist.  So let’s bring the emotion down, and let’s ask the qualified experts what their opinion is.” Read More

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What Was the Top #ScienceFail for 2014?

Science isn’t easy. Scientific research is often difficult, tedious, and can take years to come to fruition. And it’s because it takes such dogged effort to reach solid scientific conclusions that we trust the work scientists do. Unfortunately, too many politicians and institutions reject or distort scientific conclusions they don’t like.

We all lose when political spin runs roughshod over evidence scientists have uncovered regarding risks to our health and well-being. Sadly, such incidents are now commonplace enough to have their own hashtag: #ScienceFail. Here are our nominations for the worst cases of #ScienceFail for 2014. Read More

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FDA Head Speaks Up for Science

When President Obama asked Dr. Margaret Hamburg to head the Food and Drug Administration in 2009, he chose a seasoned scientist with a demonstrated passion for public health.  Read More

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Who Else Stood Up for Science in 2014? Our Members’ Picks

When we announced our Got Science? champs for 2014, we asked our members whose story inspired them the most. We also asked them to share stories about other people who stood up for science in 2014. We received about 500 responses; here are some highlights: Read More

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Seeking Stories of Abuse of Open Records Laws

Have you or your university or government colleagues been targeted with intrusive federal or state Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests? If so, I’d like to hear from you. Read More

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Interfering in the Science: Congress Targets Sage Grouse Protections in Cromnibus Bill

Lately, we’ve seen Congress target many things: Science funding at NSF, school lunch, and the EPA’s ability to function, but I believe this is the first time I’ve seen Congress target a bird. Read More

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