Charise Johnson

Researcher, Center for Science & Democracy

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Charise Johnson is a research analyst in the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. She works primarily in partnership with justice-based groups, providing analysis that connects data-driven research with public health and community impacts. See Charise's full bio.

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Charise's Latest Posts

Photo: M&R Glasgow/Flickr

After Pittsburgh, Thousand Oaks, Will New Congress Push for Gun Safety Research?

My colleagues and I have written extensively in the past on gun violence and need to remove barriers for federal research. We have seen some progress, with Congress clarifying this past spring that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may pursue research on gun violence prevention. Previously, legislative language in spending bills (known as the Dickey Amendment) had effectively banned the CDC from researching gun violence since 1996. Gun violence is a public health issue, and as with all public health issues, it requires scientific evidence to build the most effective policies to protect people. But is that research actually happening now? We need to ensure that it is. Read more >

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PFAS Contamination on Military Bases Is A Scary Reality—And For Me, It’s Personal

Across the country, families are exposed to dangerous chemicals in their water—and the families most at risk are those living on or near military bases. This threat concerns me not just as a researcher, but as the child of a military family. Read more >

Charise Johnson
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Photo: NCinDC/CC BY-ND 2.0 (Flickr)

DOI’s New Policy Restricts Science Under the Guise of Transparency

Last week, Interior Department Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt issued an order, “Promoting Open Science”, purportedly to increase transparency and public accessibility of the research used by the Department to make science-based decisions. This seems dubious coming from a person who spent much of his career lobbying for the oil and gas industry and who at his confirmation hearing professed, “Here’s the reality: We’re going to look at the science whatever it is, but … policy decisions are made — this president ran and he won on a particular perspective.” The order, effective immediately, is not unlike the EPA’s “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” proposed rule, in that it restricts the use of science in important decisions that affects the public and our environment. Read more >

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The endangered black-footed ferret. Photo: USFWS Mountain-prairie

Proposed Changes to the Endangered Species Act Threaten Wildlife

The Trump Administration is threatening species, land conservation, and human health and wellbeing by rolling back our health, safety, and environmental protections. This time the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) are attempting to undercut the scientific basis of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by proposing changes that will make it less effective, even increasing the chances that species will go extinct. Read more >

Photo: USFWS Mountain-Praire
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Photo: LadyDragonflyCC/Flickr

The EPA’s Proposed Chemical Disaster Rule is a Disaster in the Making

UCS released a white paper today – The Impact of Chemical Facilities on Environmental Justice Communities: Review of Selected Communities Affected by Chemical Facility Incidents – that addresses the EPA’s proposed rule to reverse improvements to the Risk Management Program (RMP), a regulatory mechanism intended to ensure the safety and security of over 12,000 facilities that use or store hazardous chemicals nationwide, as made under the Obama administration and finalized in January 2017. Specifically, it highlights the potential health impacts of past catastrophic incidents at chemical facilities on nearby communities. Read more >

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