In business and politics, it is a good thing to have science on your side. Scientific study informs and enlightens our decision making on everything from food to energy to health. But what happens when the science is inconvenient to your business model? Read More
Convenient Science for Hire: the American Council on Science and Health Puts the Cart before the Horse
October 28th, 2013
October 7th, 2013
On February 17, 2011, former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson, one of my childhood heroes, shot himself in the chest. In a text message to family, he strongly implied that he committed suicide in this way in order to preserve his brain for research into the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury. Read More
September 24th, 2013
Some companies just don’t like sharing.
At least that’s my first takeaway from viewing the newly released reports from CDP (formerly, the Carbon Disclosure Project) that we’ve been waiting for. The international not-for-profit organization officially released this year’s data last night at the New York Stock Exchange. Every year, CDP collects climate reporting data it obtains by annually surveying companies worldwide, but this year, the organization asked companies something new. And the results (and lack thereof) are quite revealing. Read More
Interference in the Science of Atrazine (Again): Syngenta Tears a Page from the Tobacco Industry Playbook
June 18th, 2013
In last year’s report Heads They Win, Tails We Lose, we laid out the strategies used by corporations to interfere in the development of science-based policy. We pulled from diverse examples—from ozone standards to medical devices to protection of workers from silica dust—in order to showcase the many ways corporations have interfered with the science. But it is only a rare case where a single issue encompasses these many strategies—and now Syngenta Crop Protection has done just that. Read More
June 11th, 2013
Asbestos can kill you. We’ve all been warned about the dangers of breathing it in. That is why we test buildings for it and have rules to protect construction workers from exposure to it. But how do we know asbestos is harmful? Because scientists have done studies of the dangers it poses to our health. And I’m glad they have so we can avoid these threats. Read More
April 15th, 2013
Today is April 15, a day that many Americans dread: Tax Day. And it’s not just you and I who need to file our taxes. American corporations have to do their taxes too. (The Supreme Court ruled that they are people now, after all.) And while I definitely don’t look forward to doing my own taxes, I am interested in seeing what information comes back on corporate foundation tax forms. Read More
February 14th, 2013
It’s Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air. The President loves the First Lady’s bangs. Grammy-winner Kelly Clarkson loves fellow winner Miguel (now that she knows who he is). Babies (apparently) love Beyoncé.
And the Monsanto Company, the world’s largest seed and agrichemical seller, is making sure we all know how much they love American farmers.
October 24th, 2012
Last night, FRONTLINE premiered its new documentary, Climate of Doubt, a chilling chronicle of the decade-long-plus campaign to confuse the public and policy-makers about the reality of human-induced climate change. As the PBS press release puts it, “Climate of Doubt describes the individuals and groups behind an organized effort to attack science by undermining scientists, and to unseat politicians who say they believe there is current climate change caused by human activity.’ Read More
October 11th, 2012
UPDATE: March 18, 2013, 3:15 pm: See bottom of post for an update on coverage of this story.
Big Ag has worked hard for decades to instill a belief—in farmers, policymakers, and the public—that its chemical-intensive industrial farming methods are more productive than low-input methods, and more profitable for farmers. In recent years, study after study has cast doubt on this view, and now a team of government and university researchers has published perhaps the most compelling data yet showing that more sustainable farming systems can achieve similar or greater yields and profits, despite steep reductions in chemical inputs. Read More
September 27th, 2012
Scientists find themselves under scrutiny now more than ever before, and that scrutiny intensifies when their research is at the center of a public policy debate. Sometimes, this scrutiny helps educate the public and clarify what we know; at other times, this scrutiny is designed to confuse the public and policymakers. Today, UCS is releasing a guide that helps scientists deal with harassment and other unwarranted attacks on their integrity and their work. Read More