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Posts Tagged ‘Scientific Integrity’

Science, Democracy and a Healthy Food Environment

There is a clear connection between diet and major diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, osteoporosis, and dental cavities. So, I keep asking—why doesn’t the science of public health undergird food policy in the U.S.? Read More

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The Secret Science Reform Act: Perhaps We Should Just Call it Catch-22

Fifty years ago, the great American novelist Joseph Heller was in the midst of writing Catch-22, creating an enduring story and coining a phrase that has become part of our language.  According to Merriam-Webster, Catch-22 means “a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule.”  When I read the book years ago, I remember thinking it was a beautifully elegant example of another common aphorism, “Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.” Read More

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An Update on Scientific Integrity in Canada, and How Scientists In Other Countries Can Help

In recent years, many Canadians have become more and more concerned about political interference in the work of Canadian government scientists, and a new report from PIPSC, the employee union that represents many of these scientists, provides little comfort that the situation will improve anytime soon. UCS has developed an open letter that allows non-Canadian scientists to show support for their Canadian government peers. You can read the letter and sign it here. Read More

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Thanks to You, We Won The “Sound Science” Battle

Yesterday, I was feeling both cynical and depressed about the state of affairs in Washington. The farm bill had been approved, but certainly it wasn’t the ideal. While urging passing of the bill, our Food and Environment program, while appreciative of some of the progress it made, acknowledged its limitations and its unfulfilled potential. Many of us also are keenly aware that food stamp cuts of billions of dollars may compromise the well-being of tens of thousands of American families. Read More

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Part-Time Activism for the Busy Expert: A Molecular Biologist’s Tale

Guest Bogger

Christopher Boniface, Molecular Biologist
Department of Biomedical Engineering, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

Portland, Oregon

I remember the first really large protest I ever attended. I was 21 and it was on the eve of the invasion of Iraq.  The atmosphere was electric—all over the U.S. and around the world, people were out in the streets in massive numbers telling their leaders, “No War!” The eventual invasion and occupation of Iraq was a wake-up call to me about the decision-making abilities of our leaders. It moved me to action on other issues that I care about—especially the environment.  Read More

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Don’t Mix Politics and Public Protections: Delays Harm Us All

For years, UCS has been making the case that science should inform the work of federal agencies, and that agency policies and rules should not be subject to political and corporate interference. When President George W. Bush was in office, the extent of that interference was quite blatant. John Graham, then head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), an obscure but powerful office within the Office of Management and Budget, did all he could to displace science and permit corporate pressure on the rulemaking process. Read More

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New CREW Report on Fracking Industry Contributions to Congressional Candidates

There’s nothing new about special interests using money to influence politicians. And it’s no secret that this spending has been on the rise across the board recently, notably following in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling in 2010. Read More

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Wolves, the Endangered Species Act, and Why Scientific Integrity Matters

Shark week has come and gone, and as a marine scientist I feel most at home with these top predators, but it is another, equally charismatic predator species that is in the news.  You can guess that because I said “charismatic” I wasn’t referring to Congress. Read More

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Don’t Like the Endangered Species Act? Try to Weaken It by Gutting the Science

The Endangered Species Act has one of the strongest scientific foundations of any environmental law in the United States. And with some predictability, some members of Congress try to tear down that foundation. This year is no different. Read More

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Interference in the Science of Atrazine (Again): Syngenta Tears a Page from the Tobacco Industry Playbook

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

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