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

A New Presidency, A New Opportunity for Science

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

Throughout its history, the US has benefited by applying science to public policy making. As national challenges become more complex, we rely on the federal government’s use of science to keep us safe and healthy. Science informs the safeguards and standards that protect us—from infectious disease to environmental pollution, from new drug approvals to consumer and worker safety. The next president has a chance to strengthen the long-standing role science has served in our democracy. I detail how in our newly released recommendations for the next administration. Read more >

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Sharing Our Climate Deception Research with Lamar Smith (Again)

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

The House Science Committee is continuing to pursue its baseless and dangerous subpoenas that, if enforced, would strike a significant blow to the First Amendment. Yesterday, we sent a response to committee Chairman Lamar Smith’s latest letter, and this time we sent it with 1300+ pages of documents that detail our very public work to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for deceiving the public about climate change science. In doing so, we again respectfully refused to comply with the subpoena for our internal correspondence and stated our continued commitment to defending our rights under the United States Constitution. Read more >

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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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