scientist-community partnerships


MASA and community members came together for a “science in action” lead resource fair on June 23, 2018 - titled Amani Un|Leaded. Photo: John Saller

Milwaukee Area Science Advocates Collaborate to End Lead Exposure

Anna Miller and Dave Nelson, , UCS

Lead exposure, especially from water in older pipes, is a major health problem in Milwaukee. A 2016 Wisconsin state report on childhood lead poisoning indicated that nearly 11% of children tested in Milwaukee showed elevated blood lead levels, which was double the percentage found in Flint, Michigan. Children from low-income families, especially within the African-American community, are disproportionately affected. Earlier this year, a previous employee of the Milwaukee County Health Department, emailed 15 alderman and Mayor Tom Barrett informing them that the department was not testing water in the homes of lead-poisoned children. This launched an investigation which revealed that the Milwaukee County Health Department failed to notify thousands of parents of the high blood lead levels found in their children, resulting in the resignation of the local health commissioner. Moreover, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently suspended the Milwaukee lead abatement program after an audit revealed many problems. Read more >

Photo: John Saller
Photo: John Saller
Photo: John Saller
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Why Engineers Should Refuse to Work on Trump’s Wall

Darshan Karwat, , UCS

When it comes to President Trump’s proposal to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico (never mind the fact that many such physical barriers already exist), many people have focused on two questions: Shouldn’t there be comprehensive immigration reform instead? And who’s going to pay for it?

But there’s another question we should ask. Who is going to build it?

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The Penn State Science Policy Society: Filling the Gap Between Science and Community

Jared Mondschein, Theresa Kucinski, Grayson Doucette, , UCS

Graduate school. It’s where generations of scientists have been trained to become independent scientists. More than 60 hours per week spent in lab, countless group meetings, innumerable hours spent crunching data and writing manuscripts and proposals that are filled with scientific jargon.

Unfortunately, it’s this jargon that prevents scientists from effectively communicating their science to the non-technical audiences that need it. Penn State’s Science Policy Society aims to bridge this gap by helping current graduate students and post-doctoral fellows learn how to bring their research into the community.

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Communicating Science: Breaking Through Our Comfortable Silence to Form Meaningful Connections

Sabah Ul-Hasan, , UCS

Those who knew me prior to age of 17 probably anticipated I’d become a scientist. I held all the stereotypical personality traits of being weird, antisocial, and a tad eccentric back then. With my hombre highlights and loud persona, few new people I casually encounter today at, say, the grocery store suspect I enjoy spending at least eight hours examining microbial sequence data, synthesizing predictive models, and writing grant applications. It’s meditative. And though I’ve become a go-to socialite in my circles, I still wouldn’t label myself as an extrovert. To me I’m simply doing my job, being open and approachable to promote information accessibility.
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Houston, We Have a Problem: Still Fighting Against Environmental Injustice

Juan Parras,

As my dear friend Maria Jimenez often has stated, the story of the neighborhoods of Manchester and Galena Park in Houston are examples of environmental racism. And having read the recent report “Double Jeopardy in Houston” makes it perfectly clear that she is without a doubt correct in her remarks. Read more >

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