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Posts Tagged ‘Center for Science and Democracy’

“Climate Change Invaded My Field”: A Conversation with Historian and Science Advocate Steven Leibo

At the American Historical Association’s annual meeting earlier this month, I had the pleasure of meeting Steven Leibo, a professor of history, leader for the Climate Reality Project, and long-time UCS supporter. During the Q&A for a session on teaching history to STEM students, Professor Leibo remarked on the need for building better bridges between historians and scientists. After the talk, he graciously allowed me to interview him about why these bridges are important through the lens of his own work. Read More

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Fracking or Hydraulic Fracturing? What’s in a Name?

A few weeks ago, I was telling my mother about the work I do here at UCS’s Center for Science and Democracy. “We’re putting together a forum next month about recent developments in natural gas and oil extraction and public access to information, “ I said, “It’s called Science, Democracy, and Community Decisions on Fracking.” Read More

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Senator Heinrich, We Couldn’t Have Said It Better—Science and Democracy are Indivisible

Just over a year ago, the Union of Concerned Scientists formed a new Center for Science and Democracy and last summer I was appointed its inaugural director. It is both an honor and a challenge for me, as the Center has the mission of advancing the role of science in public policy and democratic dialogue. Read More

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A Dangerous Approach: Lawmaker Proposes Changes to How the National Science Foundation Funds Science

The targeting of specific government grants has become old hat in Washington DC, an easy way to score cheap political points. Targets have included fruit fly research in Paris, studies of duck genitalia, and research involving shrimp on a treadmill, but in all cases, further investigation has shown that the seemingly odd projects have direct ties to real-world applications. These skirmishes have now escalated into power grabs that serve to undermine entire fields of research. Read More

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#ScioDC: A Conversation on Scientists, Government, and Social Media This Week

This Wednesday, I’ll be speaking at the inaugural event of ScienceOnlineDC about the recent UCS report I co-authored, Grading Government Transparency: Scientists’ Freedom to Speak (and Tweet) at Federal Agencies. ScienceOnlineDC is a newly formed Washington, DC satellite of ScienceOnline, a nonprofit organization that facilitates conversations, community, and collaborations at the intersection of science and the Web. Read More

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Four Hours after UCS Report Release, United States Geological Survey Takes a Step Forward

UPDATE Monday March 18 3:00PM (see below):

Who ever said the federal government can’t work fast?

This morning, UCS released a report analyzing how federal government agencies and departments allow their scientists to communicate with the public. We found that while many agencies have better policies since 2008, there are still improvements to be made. Read More

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Freedom to Tweet: Grading Social Media Policies in the Federal Government

Social media can transform debates, inform discussions and, as we saw with the Arab spring, help spread democracy. And information and science have a key role to play in democracy (hence the new Center for Science and Democracy here at UCS). Scientists working for government agencies such as NASA, NOAA, the EPA, and the FDA have a lot to contribute to discussions about the science-based challenges we face. Unfortunately, agency policies combined with a culture of timidity are often constraining individual government scientists from jumping into social media. Read More

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The American Community Survey: It’s Common Sense!

UPDATE Tuesday March 19 (see below)

We at the Center for Science and Democracy believe that our democracy thrives when debate about public policy is driven by independent data. That makes our public discourse more rational, and more civil. When information guides our public policies they also are more likely to be effective and well-thought-out. Read More

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Putting the Interests of Patients First: Conference Endorses Science-Focused Health Care

It’s not often that some of the best and most creative minds in medicine, medical ethics and healthcare all gather in one place. It’s even more rare when all these individuals are gathered together to focus on one problem—undue corporate influence on the treatment of patients in the U.S. Read More

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All The Science News That Fits? The New York Times Disbands Its Environment Desk

Our new Center for Science and Democracy promotes evidence-based decision-making by our elected officials, guided by an informed public. But democratic discourse depends on journalism, too; to govern themselves, citizens need access to independent information. Read More

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