Posts Tagged ‘Founding Fathers’

In Science and Democracy We Trust: A Family History and a Nation’s Future

Like many Americans, I spend the winter holidays with my family. I can trace my family history back many generations of Americans and this year I revisited some of that family history. Paging through scrapbooks with newspaper clippings and documents more than a hundred years old, I wondered what my ancestors might have hoped for when they came to this country. There is no doubt that what brought them here was the same as what brought so many others: The hope of a government of the people, by the people, for the people; and the hope of a place where innovation thrived and scientific progress was made. But how would our ancestors judge the government we have today? Read More

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New Report from the Endangered Species Coalition Celebrating 40 Years of Success

No bird is more iconic to Americans’ sense of national identity and pride than the bald eagle. This majestic creature was chosen by the Continental Congress in 1782 to symbolize the United States because of its strength and longevity. A bird that lives on the tops of mountains and swoops through boundless spaces, it appears on the Great Seal of the United States and represents the freedom the Founding Fathers saw at the heart of our democracy. Read More

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Messengers Matter: Overcoming the Age of Denial

The Internet is abuzz with University of Rochester Professor Adam Frank’s op-ed provocatively titled “Welcome to the Age of Denial.” It’s the most e-mailed piece on the New York Times right now, and it’s all over social media. It’s an interesting critique, and a great call to action. Many scientists and science communicators share his frustration, and believe that science and scientific thinking are increasingly marginalized in a time when so many of the challenges we face are science-based. Of equal importance, however, is how we frame and contextualize science—and how we deliver its messages.

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An Independence Day Tribute to Science and Democracy: Eight Great Quotes by U.S. Presidents

Admittedly, not every American president is remembered for his eloquence. More than a few, however, have spoken insightfully and inspiringly about the inseparable relationship between science and our democracy. From George Washington to Barack Obama, in the words of both Republicans and Democrats, our presidents express continuity in their thinking about the essential role of science in American society. Read More

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The Nation and the Scientist

Over the last year or so since the launch of UCS’s Center for Science and Democracy, my colleagues and I have been thinking a lot about what science meant to America’s Founding Fathers and why we should care today in 2013. Read More

Categories: Science and Democracy  


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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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It’s Time to Ask Ourselves: What Would Ben Franklin Do?

Every one of us can think of a recent time when science has been misrepresented by a politician, company spokesperson, or self-appointed expert. The issues are many. Vaccine safety. Global warming. Guns. Fracking. You might begin to think that in America, facts have always been subservient to hype.

But that simply isn’t the case. As we’ve done research to support the new Center for Science and Democracy at UCS, I’ve been surprised at how closely science and American democracy were intertwined from the very beginning of our great republic. From the very beginning, scientific values have been American values. Read More

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President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address and Self-Executing Truths

There was a lot for me to like in President Obama’s second inaugural address yesterday. Many are focusing on the policy signals he sent, most notably related to climate change and renewable energy. The phrase that most piqued my interest, however, related to the truths articulated in the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence. Read More

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