UCS Science Network


Through our Science Network, UCS collaborates with nearly 20,000 scientists and technical experts across the country, including physicists, ecologists, engineers, public health professionals, economists, and energy analysts. Science Network Voices gives Equation readers access to the depth of expertise and broad perspective on current issues that our Science Network members bring to UCS. The views expressed in Science Network posts are those of the author alone.

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Science is Alive and Well in Maine

Ivan J. Fernandez, Professor and Scientist

Over the past four years in the United States there has been an undeniable weakening of the role that science plays in climate change policy and beyond. Here in Maine, the prior governor all but halted efforts to address climate change in Maine despite the evidence at hand. However, if we have learned anything from COVID-19, it is that when the forces of nature and society line up, for good or bad, things can happen fast. Read more >

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Using Workshops as a Tool to Build Scientists’ Engagement in Policy

Jennifer Mongiovi, MS, doctoral candidate and Jessica O'Neill, PhD, MPH, co-founder

Scientists have a lot to contribute to their communities, the environment, promoting equity and justice, protecting health and safety, and other important aspects of public life. As the Covid-19 pandemic took hold of the United States, we knew that the policy workshop we had been planning for 6 months would need to change. The Buffalo 500 Women Scientists hosted a virtual science policy workshop in May 2020. Our hope is that grassroots groups in small towns and big cities across the nation will adapt this strategy, build from it, and share what they have learned. Read more >

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Rebuild Arecibo Observatory: One Scientist’s Reflection on Advocacy and Research

Héctor G. Arce, Ph.D., Professor of Astrophysics

On December 1, 2020, the 900-tonne platform that held most of the instruments of the Arecibo Observatory (AO) at a height of more than 500 feet above the ground came crashing down. People from all walks of life, old and young, scientists and non-scientists, for whom this iconic telescope meant so much, have watched the footage of the collapse in disbelief. Soon after the collapse, students, scientists and the general public began a campaign to rebuild the AO. Read more >

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Why We Need Antiracist, Feminist Leadership on Climate and Energy

Jennie C. Stephens, Director of the School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs

Trained in environmental science and engineering, I have been working on climate and energy for over 25 years. My professional experiences as a woman in this technical field have taught me that the inadequacy of our efforts to respond to the climate crisis—our inability to end fossil fuel reliance and transition to a renewable-based society—is not due to a lack of technological innovation or scientific expertise. Rather, our ineffectiveness results from a lack of investment and attention to social innovation and social justice. To fix that, we need an inclusive and integrative approach to climate and energy policy. Read more >

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What Lessons Should We Learn from the PFAS Crisis?

Lauren Richter, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Rhode Island School of Design; Alissa Cordner, Associate Professor and Paul Garrett Fellow, Whitman College; Phil Brown, University Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Health Science, Northeastern University

How a problem is framed often shapes the range of solutions considered. Ubiquitous global contamination by PFAS (per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances), human-synthesized chemicals that are water and grease repellent and found in human blood, drinking water, and wildlife, is a problem that has been framed in a number of ways. While environmental regulation is often framed as driven by scientific knowledge, our research finds that in U.S. the implementation of chemical regulation is more commonly driven by scientific ignorance and corporate malfeasance. Read more >

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