science-based decision making


Shake, Rattle, and Rainout: Federal Support for Disaster Research

Joyce Levine, PhD, AICP, , UCS

Hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes are simply natural events—until humans get in their way. The resulting disasters are particularly devastating in urban areas, due to high concentrations of people and property. Losses from disasters have risen steadily over the past five decades, thanks to increased populations and urban development in high-hazard areas, particularly the coasts. There is also significant evidence that climate change is making weather-related events more frequent and more severe as well. As a result, it is more critical than ever that natural hazards research is being incorporated into emergency planning decisions. Read more >

Graphic: NOAA
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Why I March for Science: The Frightening Risks We Aren’t Talking About

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

“Thank you, Dr. Goldman. That was frightening.” Moderator Keesha Gaskins-Nathan said to me after I spoke last week as the only scientist at the Stetson University Law Review Symposium. My talk covered the ways that the role of science in federal decisionmaking is being degraded by the Trump administration, by Congress, and by corporate and ideological forces. Together these alarming moves are poised to damage the crucial role that science plays in keeping us all safe and healthy. This is why I will march for science this Saturday. Read more >

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Mori Point, Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Photo: National Park Service

Restoring California’s Coastal Ecosystems

Dr. Karen Holl, , UCS

Over two-thirds of Californians live in coastal counties. Californians love their coastline for good reasons—the mild weather, recreational opportunities, and of course their iconic beauty and natural diversity.

The California coastline hosts a variety of ecosystems ranging from sand dunes to rolling grasslands to mixed evergreen forests. These ecosystems not only are beautiful and provide habitat to many species of plants and animals, they also provide important services to people. Coastal wetlands, for example, help to improve water quality, reduce shoreline erosion, and buffer against sea level rise. Read more >

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Trump Administration Claims ‘No Evidence’ Afterschool Programs and Meals Work. Actually, There’s Plenty.

, Food Systems & Health Analyst

When I sat down with Dr. Jacqueline Blakely to talk about her afterschool program at Sampson Webber Academy in Detroit, our conversation was interrupted. A lot. Parents dropped by to talk about their kids, kids dropped in to talk about their days, and the phone rang like clockwork. It didn’t take long for me to understand that there was something really good going on in this classroom. Read more >

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Counting the Attacks on Science by the Trump Administration and Congress

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

Today the Union of Concerned Scientists launches a webpage to track attacks on science by the Trump Administration and the 115th Congress. The page will be consistently updated, and we’re planning to add a filter option to view the attacks by issue, agency, and type of attack (e.g. censorship, political interference, conflicts of interest, etc.). Read more >

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