science and democracy


Photo: Denise Cross Photography/Flickr

The Science of Voting Rights + An Interview with Matt Dunlap

, Kendall Science Fellow

When Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap agreed to serve on President Trump’s “Election Integrity” commission, election scholars, myself included, roundly criticized him for legitimizing a nakedly partisan attempt to indulge the President’s fantasies about why he failed to win the popular vote. Mr. Dunlap’s pursuit of transparency is a crucial example of how a commitment to science-based policy and integrity can protect citizens from government agencies betraying the public interest. In early February, I sat down with Dunlap for an extended interview. We discussed his decision to serve, his experience as a member of the Commission, and the events that led to his lawsuit against the Commission. Read more >

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Photo: Union of Concerned Scientists

Hard-Fought Battle over Added Sugar Labeling at the FDA: Public Health 1, Food Industry 0

, senior analyst and program manager, Center for Science and Democracy

At the Partnership for a Healthier America summit this morning, First Lady Michelle Obama announced the Food and Drug Administration’s newest rule. Two years in the making, the final rule will require, among other changes, inclusion of an ‘Added Sugars’ line separate from the total sugar line and a percent daily value for it on the ubiquitous Nutrition Facts label found on the back of all food packages. Read more >

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Community Connections: Scientist-Citizens Have a Critical Role to Play

, director, Center for Science & Democracy

Many community organizations struggle to be heard in our noisy democracy. Even on critical issues such as air and water quality, health hazards from chemicals, local food policy, environmental justice for disadvantaged communities, and the rising challenges of global warming, their voices and needs are often drowned out by those who argue that addressing public health, safety and the environment is too expensive. That those concerns get in the way of economic growth. And too often, the views of community organizations are dismissed because their arguments are not framed in technical terms. Read more >

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Baltimore against the Measles: A Victory for Science, but for How Long?

, former analyst, Center for Science & Democracy

When I was an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University, I had only a dim awareness of the measles outbreak then raging through Baltimore. I was fully vaccinated, spent most of my time on campus, and lived in university housing among mostly white, middle and upper-middle class students, who were also fully vaccinated. Measles, for me, was a remote thing, despite its proximity. It didn’t happen to anyone I knew. Read more >

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

, former analyst, Center for Science & Democracy

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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