science-based decision making


Photo: aisletwentytwo/CC BY 2.0 (Flickr)

Is the USDA Relocation Just Good Old-Fashioned Rent Seeking?

, Economist

One of things I cherish about economists is their ability to call BS when they see it. In research settings economists tend to have a reputation for asking hard-hitting questions during seminars. They are known for having the most unpopular opinion and for being unabashedly proud of it. I’ve personally seen non-economists bristle at the thought of giving a talk to an economics-oriented audience. As someone who straddles the worlds of public health and economics I get it, trust me. I’ve been there. Read more >

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Photo: iStock.com//Alija

Vegetable Production in the US: Lots of Potatoes, More Kale, and Other Trends

, Economist

Vegetables—they’ve got me working overtime lately. That’s because my preschool-age daughter recently seems less than excited about these healthy foods. She’ll likely outgrow her (very common) picky-eater phase and enjoy vegetables. I hope.

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Map: USDA/NASS
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Photo: Audrey Eyring/UCS

Two Years of Attacks on Science are Putting Public Health and Safety at Risk

, Research scientist

Today, UCS is releasing the report “The State of Science in the Trump Era: Damage Done, Lessons Learned, and a Path to Progress.” This report is truly a culmination of the state of science in the Trump era to date. In it, we have detailed the administration’s attacks on federal science and scientists during the past two years, highlighted successes that the scientific community and their supporters have had in pushing back against these attacks, and outlined a path forward for a new Congress to hold this administration accountable for these attacks.

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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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