Science and Democracy

The partnership between science and democracy has played a huge role in U.S. history. But misinformation and attacks on science have strained that partnership. UCS science and democracy experts keep you informed on the latest developments, from Capitol Hill to local communities.


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Latest Science and Democracy Posts

Photo: EPA

Children’s Health Research Centers Protect Our Kids. The EPA Just Defunded Them.

, executive director

The EPA has decided to pull out of a decades-long partnership and stop funding grants to children’s environmental health research centers across the country. Children are not little adults; they are uniquely vulnerable to environmental risks and deserve to be protected from harm. Read more >

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How Scientists are Responding to On the Media’s Reporting on Researcher Harassment

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

The prolific public radio show On The Media last week explored how open records laws are used to disrupt public interest research at public universities and examined the challenges of creating laws that allow for scrutiny while protecting free speech. The reporter, Alana Casanova-Burgess, treated the issue with the complexity it deserves, and in the days since, I’ve heard from several professors around the country by email and phone. Read more >

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Photo: Dylan McCord/US Navy

If 3M Really Cares About the PFAS Science, Here’s How They Should Move Forward

, Lead science and policy analyst

Well, well, well, 3M. I’m glad to hear you are concerned about the science of PFAS, but let’s put some walk to that talk. Read more >

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A Stroller Debacle at CPSC Politicizes Child Safety and I Have No Chill

, Lead science and policy analyst

I’m a self-proclaimed transparency nut. But now that I’m a mom, my need for information has grown exponentially. I want a label on baby food that tells me how much added sugar is in it. I want to know whether my daughter’s car seat or mattress contains organohalogen flame retardants. And I certainly want to know whether the stroller I’m using to cross busy DC streets is safe. But apparently that last bit is none of my business and that’s okay with some federal regulators who care more about acquiescing to industry wishes than keeping kids safe. Read more >

Photo: John and Christina/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 (Flickr)
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Members of the USDA Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers, in a December 2010 photo. USDA photo

Improving Transparency and Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest for Science Advisory Committees

, director, Center for Science & Democracy

On Wednesday this week, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs will hold a mark-up hearing in the Federal Advisory Committee Act Amendments of 2019 introduced by Sen. Portman (R-OH). And before you stop reading, yes this is a science issue. The proposed amendments are intended to improve the transparency of the federal advisory committee process, including science advisory committees of scientists from outside government, and to disclose and reduce the impacts of conflicts of interest on those committees. Read more >

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