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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Local produce, sold through direct-to-consumer channels like farmers markets and community supported agriculture programs, is often sold at a price premium. But does that premium impact farmers’ bottom line? Photo: Todd Johnson/ Oklahoma State University.

Do Local Food Markets Support Profitable Farms and Ranches?

Becca B.R. Jablonski, Dawn Thilmany McFadden, Allie Bauman, Dave Shideler

How many times have you heard that when you shop locally, farmers win? Families shop at farmers markets, school districts procure locally-grown and raised items, and restaurants curate seasonal menus at least in part because they believe they are supporting the economic viability of local producers. But do we have evidence that these local markets actually provide economic benefits to farmers and ranchers? Read more >

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Photo: Tony Webster/CC BY-SA 2.0 (Flickr)

Better Data Are Needed to Dismantle Racism in Policing

Sirry Alang, Ph.D.

The institutionalized killing of black and brown people in the United States is not a new phenomenon. The government’s role in the overt harming of black bodies goes as far back as slavery, when patrollers (paid and unpaid) stopped enslaved people in public places, entered their quarters without warrant, and assaulted and harmed them. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the government further sustained public devaluation of black lives through tolerance of lynching and by failing to pass anti-lynching legislation. Read more >

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Science on Wheels: Meeting a Scientist Right in Your Hometown

Arianna Soldati, Ph.D. Candidate

I moved to Columbia, Missouri, home of the University of Missouri (Mizzou), five years ago, and I was impressed with the amount of science engagement activities available to the public. Any time of any day of the week there appeared to be something going on: Saturday Morning Science, Science Café on Monday nights, and Science on Tap on Tuesday evenings. An incredible variety of settings to pick and choose from, from auditoriums to cafés to breweries. Topics to satisfy all interests, from chemistry to astronomy to biology. Professors, grad students, undergrads—they were all involved in outreach. I couldn’t believe what a big role science played in the state. Read more >

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Panel of speakers at the Opioid Epidemic Forum.

A Graduate Researcher’s (Brief) Guide to: Creating a Student Science Policy Group

Lyl Tomlinson

Research, telescopes, and computer models may consume the thoughts of many STEM graduate students, but do you ever find yourself distracted by current events? Are you ever caught up in conversations about how to fix problems in society? Have you ever “geeked out” about research that influences laws or policy? If you’re a graduate student and this sounds familiar, you have options: 1) ignore your burning desire to do something or 2) start a science policy group. Read more >

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Stories, Improv, and What Science Can Learn From Comedy

Rod Lammers and Michael Somers

Can you name a scientist? If your response was no, you are not alone. Eighty one percent of Americans cannot name a living scientist, according to a 2017 poll that was conducted by Research America. As scientists, it is our responsibility to reach out to the public and talk to people about what we do, why it is important, and how it connects to their lives. We are not trained to make those connections and do public outreach, but luckily there are increasingly more opportunities to learn. Read more >

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