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Posts Tagged ‘science and democracy’

A Science-Informed Post-Sandy Resilience Plan, but Hoboken Faces Challenges Implementing It

Last August, Dawn Zimmer, mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, formally released the Hoboken Resiliency and Readiness Plan to address ongoing Hurricane Sandy rebuilding efforts. The plan marked an important milestone for the “Mile Square City” by establishing a strong set of science-informed policy objectives that would help protect citizens from future climate change impacts. Read More

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Through the Looking Glass: Climate Change Denial, Conflict of Interest and Connecting Science to Policy

The Boston Globe has an outstanding series of articles entitled “Broken City” and it is not hard to guess which city they are referring to.  Hint—not the one that boasts a World-Series-winning team. Read More

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5 Ways the Shutdown Will Continue to Be a Drag for Early Career Scientists

All the world is not a stage. The recent theatrics in Congress over raising the debt ceiling and reopening the government have made some people laugh, others cry, and still others simply deny the seriousness of the issues. With the immediate fiscal crisis now behind us and the government again open for business, some people may believe that our troubles, at least for the moment, are behind us, too. But for early career scientists—graduate students, postdocs, and even talented undergraduates—the shutdown has had very real, concrete consequences. 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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Science, Democracy and Fracking: Not All Is As it Seems – a Correction

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of obtaining better information in order to make better choices concerning the impacts of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” In fact, the role of science in informing the public, the media, and policy-makers as we make societal choices in our democracy is of enormous importance—not because science is the sole determinant of what choice we should make, but because it must help ground our decisions in what we know about the world we live in. Read More

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No Proven Case of Water Contamination?

We have all heard the oft-repeated statement from proponents of unconventional oil and gas development that “hydraulic fracturing does not cause water contamination.” It has come up in relation to controversies over EPA studies in Pavillion, Wyoming, and, most recently, Dimock, Pennsylvania. It has even come up at congressional hearings, where senators were distracted from the more important issue of contamination by the difficulty of pinning down expert witnesses on a simple definition of their terms — whether so-called “fracking” refers to a specific step in the process of extracting oil and gas or more broadly to all of the operations and activities involved. 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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Where Is the Scientist?

I haven’t yet seen Josh Fox’s latest film salvo opposing hydraulic fracturing Gasland Part II. I plan on seeing it soon, given the role of natural gas in our nation’s energy future. But, in the meantime, I did have the chance to listen to the Diane Rehm Show today. Fox and his film were the subjects of the show, and Diane interviewed Fox, along with Steve Everley, a spokesperson from the industry group Energy in Depth. There was also a reporter from ProPublica, Abrahm Lustgarten. Read More

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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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