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

Ask a Scientist: The Importance of Being a Voter

, senior writer

With primaries underway across the country in advance of the November elections, it’s a good time to chat with Michael Latner, an associate professor at California Polytechnic State University and UCS’s first Kendall voting rights fellow. Michael’s award-winning academic work has largely focused on how redistricting, gerrymandering and electoral laws influence political representation. During his two-year UCS fellowship, he has broadened the scope of his research to include the impact of electoral system bias on public health and environmental protection, two key UCS priorities. Read more >

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BLM photo

William Pendley Should Not Be Acting Administrator of the Bureau of Land Management

, director, Center for Science & Democracy

Earlier this month, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt extended William Pendley’s appointment  as the Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for another three months. The BLM has not had a Senate-confirmed permanent director at any point during the Trump administration.

It is pretty clear why Mr. Pendley has not been formally nominated for the Director’s position—his extreme, ultra-conservative views and deep conflicts of interest would not win him confirmation in the Senate. Indeed, many groups are opposed to his appointment because of his record of opposition to the very mission of the agency he is leading. Read more >

Photo: House Natural Resources Committee/YouTube
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PFAS, or "forever chemicals," have contaminated drinking water supplies across the country. Photo: Bob Walker/Flickr

Profiles in Cowardice: Chemicals, Climate, and a Toxic Disregard by the Trump Administration

, executive director

A new report from FEMA completely ignores climate change. The administration and Congress block efforts to protect the public from PFAS, or “forever chemicals,” which have contaminated drinking water supplies across the country. Two more striking examples of cowardice from our elected leaders. Read more >

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WyoFile/Flickr

A Healthy Resolution: Reclaim Your Democracy in 2020  

, Kendall Science Fellow

As we enter the 2020 election cycle, a handful of states are emerging as test cases for the future of democracy in America. One canary in the coalmine is Georgia, where in 2018 now-Governor Brian Kemp defeated Stacey Abrams by the narrowest of margins (50.2% to 49.8%) under questionable circumstances. Another is Arizona, where a wave of Latinx voter mobilization in 2018 has prompted the state legislature to make changes to early voting rules that could impact the eligibility of over 200,000 voters. In Wisconsin and Ohio, voting rights are being similarly threatened, something that’s likely to continue, given their crucial role in the 2020 presidential election.

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WyoFile/Flickr
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The US Senate Faces a Moral Imperative

, president

Senators, now is the time to show your moral courage. Read more >

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