On the Verge of Another Election, How is Science Political?

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

Tomorrow is Election Day, and it’s worth reflecting on how a STEM* identity connects with a political identity. The science blog Sister and Science Rising have put together a fantastic new blog series from women scientists exploring how STEM can be political (yet not partisan), and explaining how working in STEM can profoundly shape advocacy work. They are well worth a read as you head to the polls. Read more >

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AP Photo/David Goldman

Report: When the Trump Administration Sidelines Science, Underserved Communities Face the Worst Consequences

, Research Analyst

As a public health researcher and a woman of color, I am acutely aware that in the United States some people live in communities which are afforded more science-based protections, allowing them to breath cleaner air, drink cleaner water, eat more nutritious food, and work at safer workplaces. And some people live in communities which are not afforded these protections. Read more >

AP Photo/David Goldman
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Indigenous People of Louisiana and the Oil Industry: An Ishak Reflection

Jeffery U. Darensbourg, freelance writer, speaker, and editor, , UCS

While doing field research in 2018 for a book, I took a boat to a shell midden in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, near where the Vermilion River – long home to my ancestors of various sorts – meets up with the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway before spilling into the Gulf of Mexico. My people, the Ishak, also known as the Atakapa (or even the Atakapa-Ishak) once inhabited the nearby Onion Bayou. Our ancient midden is bisected by a ship channel known as Four Mile Cutoff.

Standing there, I watched ships ferrying workers and equipment for oil exploration, going straight through the middle of this remnant of our cultural legacy. In our tribal creation myth, the first Ishak walked out of that very gulf onto our lands. Now something else coming from there is a dominant cultural, environmental, and economic force.

Read more >

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Women Scientists Form a Policy Advocacy Network in the Mid-Atlantic

JoEllen McBride, PhD; Kristen Gulino, Ph.D. candidate; Jewel Tomasula, PhD candidate, , UCS

Many societal challenges are rooted in structural inefficiencies and inequities that require government solutions informed by science. Women experience burden and harm from inaction in distinct ways, but our voices are underrepresented in both the advocacy and policy processes. We believe women scientists have untapped potential to leverage their expertise and perspective and to connect with their elected officials to lead discussions about policies that impact their communities. Read more >

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Tackling Health Disparities in St. Louis

Max Lyon, graduate student, , UCS

Many factors cause disparities in who has access to healthcare, as well as the quality of the care they receive. Health disparities facing St. Louis are not unique to the city but are intensified by two primary factors: division between the city and county, and extreme racial segregation. Having two separate governments operating in the same municipal area means that multiple initiatives may be formed to tackle the same problems, but never communicate or share resources. While some services – such as the sewer district and certain medical centers – are shared, many more function independently,  necessitating that organizations communicate and comply with two sets of legislatures and regulations. Read more >

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