Taryn's Latest Posts

Who Gets the First COVID-19 Vaccines? The Answer is a Complex Tangle of Science and Ethics

In a perfect world, a newly-approved COVID-19 vaccine would be immediately available to everyone, everywhere—a tantalizing vision, but constraints in manufacturing and public health infrastructure make this vision nearly impossible to achieve. The US expects to have enough doses to cover 10-15 million people soon after a vaccine is approved. This sounds like a hefty number, but it’s only 4-6 percent of the US population. So, who should get the first vaccines? Read more >

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Worried for Government Science? So Are We.

A few weeks ago, my colleague chronicled a milestone for our organization and the country: We had just recorded the federal government’s 150th attack on science, carried out by the officials and agencies tasked with defending science. Today, we mark another milestone: The release of our recommendations, for 2021 and beyond, to undo the damage from these attacks and bolster protections for government science.

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Without Clear Information from Leaders, We Face the COVID-19 Pandemic Alone

Last week, I biked from my family’s rural house to nearby Sister Bay, a picturesque town in eastern Wisconsin. Laughter spilled out from the windows of restaurants. Couples wandered in and out of stores. At the lake nearby, kids wrestled on the docks, and people crowded into public restrooms to change into swimsuits.

Some had masks. Most did not.

In another time, this would be an idyllic place. But today, it is an eerie reminder of the unreality in which so many people in the US exist. Read more >

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The White House Scrapped the Science on Trichloroethylene—So We’re Urging the EPA to Investigate

When Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scientists concluded that the chemical trichloroethylene (TCE) causes fetal heart defects, even at low doses, officials at the White House overrode their conclusions—an egregious example of political interference in science, and a violation of the EPA’s scientific integrity policy. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) submitted a formal complaint to the EPA, urging the agency’s scientific integrity office to investigate. Read more >

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