Anita Desikan

Research Analyst

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Anita Desikan is a research analyst for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. In her role, she investigates the role of science in public policy, focusing on topics like scientific integrity at federal agencies, and political interference in the scientific rulemaking process. See Anita's full bio.

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KTRK via AP

Communities Face Harm When the EPA Dismantles Chemical Safety Protections

If chemical facilities are regularly catching on fire or exploding in your neighborhood – like the recent TPC Group plant chemical fire near Houston that dangerously blazed during the Thanksgiving holiday – you would want the government to do something about it. You would want to know what is going on in these facilities. You would want to know what actions are being taken to prevent another catastrophe. And you would want to know that the lives of you, your family, friends and neighbors are being protected by the government through science-based rules and regulations.

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KTRK via AP
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It’s (Been) Time to Uplift the Voices of Marginalized Communities

What prevents the members of impacted communities from playing a more prominent role in the policymaking process? Why are politicians from America, a nation that prides itself on liberty and justice for all, so unable to listen to and tap the vast wealth of knowledge and lived experiences that are found in marginalized communities and respond accordingly? The answer is that, in many cases, dismissing the needs, wants, and aspirations of underserved communities is what our system is founded on and has evolved to do – it is our de facto norm. And the effect of this normal system is the polluting and poisoning of the land, water, and air for millions of marginalized individuals across the nation. Read more >

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The Terrible Thing about EPA’s Restricted Science Rule that We Aren’t Talking About

Alarmingly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is attempting to choke off the science that can be considered in the policymaking process in a way that will almost certainly hamper the efforts to monitor and protect people from environmental health hazards throughout the US, but especially in underserved communities. The EPA is about to release a new supplement to its restricted science rule, which will pose incredible harm to the science used throughout the agency and could result in endless analyses at the EPA that stop science-based decisionmaking in its tracks. Read more >

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AP Photo/David Goldman

Report: When the Trump Administration Sidelines Science, Underserved Communities Face the Worst Consequences

As a public health researcher and a woman of color, I am acutely aware that in the United States some people live in communities which are afforded more science-based protections, allowing them to breath cleaner air, drink cleaner water, eat more nutritious food, and work at safer workplaces. And some people live in communities which are not afforded these protections. Read more >

AP Photo/David Goldman
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By Phasing Out Animal Testing, the EPA Could Turn You into the Guinea Pig

When you encounter chemicals in the normal course of your life—while eating food, drinking water, playing in the backyard, or breathing air—do you want the assurance that these chemicals have been deemed safe using the most rigorous scientific methods available? Of course you want that! But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just implemented a policy that has the real possibility of making this science less rigorous and less thorough. Read more >

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