science-based decision making


Photo: Lonpicman/Wikimedia Commons

Forensics, Justice, and the Case for Science-Based Decision Making

Simon A. Cole, , UCS

Forensic science—and the language forensic scientists use to talk about their findings–has real-world impacts, sometimes life-or-death impacts, for real people. If the criminal justice system is going to really serve the cause of justice, it needs to be informed by the best available science. Unfortunately, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is ignoring scientific best practices, reversing progress toward improving forensic science in the U.S.

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Photo: Tammy Anthony Baker/Wikimedia Commons

Trump Twists the Law to Bail Out Coal

, senior energy analyst

As you may have heard, President Trump has a new toy – national security – that he’s using to sidestep congressional oversight and funnel taxpayer dollars to his fossil fuel buddies.

First, he weaponized “national security” to impose tariffs designed to stifle the economic competitiveness of solar power (it didn’t work). Now, he’s using it as misguided rationale for ordering the Department of Energy (DOE) to bail out uneconomic coal plants on our dime to the tune of billions of dollars, according to estimates. His hiding behind national security is like me hiding behind a lunchbox – it doesn’t work.

Unfortunately, if the Trump Administration gets away with it, there are profound consequences for our wallets, our environment, and yes – our national security. Read more >

Photo: Tammy Anthony Baker/Wikimedia Commons
Photo: swanksalot/Flickr 
Photo: Nition1 [CC BY-SA 3.0]/Wikimedia Commons
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Photo: Dex Image/Corbis

Five Things We’ve Learned from Surveys of Government Scientists

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

This month the Union of Concerned Scientists is surveying government scientists—about 63,000 of them from 16 federal agencies, to be exact. Since these scientists get emails from me requesting their time and perspectives, I want to discuss the value of the scientific integrity surveys we’ve been conducting here for many years. Since 2005, thousands of scientists have responded to UCS surveys and that information has led to concrete changes at federal agencies. Here’s a sampling of what we’ve gained from surveying government scientists. Read more >

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The Moon is seen as is rises, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017 in Washington. Photo by NASA. CC-BY-2.0 (Flickr)

Supermoons, King Tides, and Global Warming

, climate scientist

Were you, like me, dazzled by the supermoon this weekend? Did you also stare in a state of wonder at the bright and shiny orb of color illuminating the night? Supermoons happen when a full or new moon is at its closest point to Earth. While we can’t see them during the new moon, supermoons that occur during a full moon are indeed something to behold. They bring thoughts of the universe, of space, stars and planets.

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Photo: Seth Anderson/CC BY-NC-SA (Flickr)

You Heard Right—The Trump Administration is Bailing Out Coal Plants

, senior energy analyst, Climate & Energy Program

No one likes paying more on their electric bills. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what might happen if the US Department of Energy gets its way with a recent request that bails out uneconomic coal plants. Read more >

Photo: Seth Anderson/CC BY-NC-SA (Flickr)
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