Science policy


President Biden’s Science Policies Are…Good, Actually. And That’s Worth Celebrating.

David Shiffman, marine conservation biologist, , UCS

As an interdisciplinary conservation scientist, I spent a lot of time thinking about the proper role of science in advising and informing government decisionmaking. While scientists don’t know everything and science can’t solve every problem, relying on expertise and evidence to inform decisionmaking generally results in better outcomes than just making up nonsense. When science and expertise is ignored, marginalized, or mocked, when experts are threatened rather than listened to, well…. *gestures around at the current state of the country after the last four years*. Read more >

US EPA
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Blog authors

Using Workshops as a Tool to Build Scientists’ Engagement in Policy

Jennifer Mongiovi, MS, doctoral candidate and Jessica O'Neill, PhD, MPH, co-founder, , UCS

Scientists have a lot to contribute to their communities, the environment, promoting equity and justice, protecting health and safety, and other important aspects of public life. As the Covid-19 pandemic took hold of the United States, we knew that the policy workshop we had been planning for 6 months would need to change. The Buffalo 500 Women Scientists hosted a virtual science policy workshop in May 2020. Our hope is that grassroots groups in small towns and big cities across the nation will adapt this strategy, build from it, and share what they have learned. Read more >

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Policy During a Pandemic: How to Make Research Accessible for Policymakers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Gary W. Kerr, Ph.D., Lecturer in Festival & Event Management and Erin Heath, Associate Director of Government Relations, , UCS

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of effective science communication – in particular, the vital importance of making research accessible for policymakers. Here, we present our top tips for researchers on how to write for policymakers.

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Anthony Eyring/UCS

Making the grass GREENER on the other side with H.R. 763

Filiberto Palacios, MPH, , UCS

Scientists found, in the 2018 IPCC 1.5 report, that we only have 12 years to substantially reduce emissions in order to avert unprecedented levels of devastation. The murkiness surrounding the issue is not due to a lack of energy alternatives, but rather depriving ourselves from cleaner, economical innovations due to political obstinacy. While there are many factors implicitly contributing to carbon dioxide emissions, capitalism in fossil-fuel reliant countries is found to be a huge culprit. Read more >

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Mike Olliver

Expanding Professional Development Opportunities for Scientists Beyond the Lab

Lida Beninson, Senior Program Officer, and Tess Doezema, Doctoral Candidate in the Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology, , UCS

We live in an age where the world and its population seem fragile and vulnerable, yet at the same time, full of radical potential. Millions of people face life-threatening opioid addiction, the global climate continues to worsen, voting infrastructure has been compromised, and the security of our health and financial data has been undermined. On the plus side, alternative energy technologies are becoming cheaper and more widely adopted, our understanding of gravitational waves is unfolding, quantum computing is becoming a reality, and nearly every country in the world has agreed to achieve a set of ambitious sustainability goals. A thread connecting all of these issues, good and bad, is science policy. Read more >

Mike Olliver
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