UCS Science Network

UCS

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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Participants arrive at science communication and advocacy workshop (Photo credit: T. Campbell)

Op-Eds for Cheeseheads: Training New Scientists as Communicators in Wisconsin Food Systems Policy

Greta Landis

“Facts aren’t impartial. They have great implications for people. They threaten people.” A few dozen graduate students and handful of public employees and farmers in the room nod thoughtfully over Margaret’s comment, laughing as she says, “It has never been a rational world!” On a June afternoon at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, this group is looking to a panel of experts on science communication and advocacy with big questions: how should new scientists start public communication, and where do they have leverage in food systems policy?

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Photo: T. Campbell
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The Sociopolitical Evolution of a Scientist: Incorporating Advocacy into My Graduate School Experience

Alex Hruska

During September of 2016, I was excited to begin my bioengineering master’s program in Boston, home to the world’s largest community of biomedical researchers. But on November 8th, the US political landscape abruptly transformed, and suddenly my research studying how cancer spreads throughout the body felt microscopic. The aftermath of the 2016 election forced me to examine my identity; I saw how the wave of anti-LGBT rhetoric and violence left my community feeling unsafe. Raised by a family of immigrants, I saw my lab mate barred from entering the country after visiting her family in Iran. And as a scientist, I saw how the spread of misinformation caused public distrust in science, permeating our highest levels of government. Read more >

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Management intensive rotational grazing of beef cattle is one example of a conservation practice incentivized by CSP. Here, the author moves cows at the Michigan State University AgBioResearch Center in Lake City, Michigan Photo: Paige Stanley

What Congress Does Next Could Cost Farmers and Taxpayers Billions

Paige Stanley

This year has been hard for all farmers—they have faced an ongoing trade war from the Trump administration and an uphill battle with climate change. But farmers who want to use sustainable practices are being particularly hard hit, as their interests are sidelined for the benefit of agribusinesses. And for the rest of us, 2018 has—almost like clockwork—shown the failure of half-hearted efforts to control farm-sourced water pollution that contaminates drinking water and destroys fisheries.   Read more >

Photo: Paige Stanley
NRCS/Ron Nichols, Flickr Creative Commons
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The public water supply in Hyannis, Massachusetts, one of the communities currently dealing PFAS contamination. Photo: A. Fox. Courtesy of STEEP

Federal Health Study on Drinking Water Contaminants Calls into Question Safety of Nation’s Drinking Water Supply

Dr. Laurel Schaider

On a late June evening in a high school auditorium in Exeter, NH, dozens of people stepped up to the microphone to tell EPA about contaminated drinking water in their communities. They described unexplained illnesses in their families, expressed frustration about inadequate government response, and shared their guilt and fear about their children’s exposures to toxics and the possible long-term effects. “Years before becoming pregnant, I was educating people on how to eliminate environmental toxics from their personal care products and food. That’s why this was so devastating,” said Alayna Davis, co-founder of a local community group called Testing for Pease. “I could not prevent this water from contaminating my son’s body.”  Read more >

Courtesy of STEEP, photo by A. Fox.
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