My picks in Science and Science Policy 7/2/17-7/9/17

By | July 10, 2017

1. Most Americans don’t know there’s a scientific consensus on global warming

For someone who is a scientist and generally surrounded by other scientists and like minded individuals, the results discussed in this article are hard to believe. According to a new report, only 13% of American’s know that over 90% of climate scientists have concluded that human-caused global warming is occurring. While this number is consistent with past surveys, the new administrations willful ignorance on scientific issues and global warming can only have a negative impact.

2. Trump has still not filled the Office of Science and Technology Policy

Speaking of willful ignorance, the Trump administration has still neglected to appoint someone to head the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). A new report reveals that the OSTP has 35 members, compared to over 100 under the Obama administration. To better understand the role that the OSTP plays and why this is important, listen to the latest episode of the fantastic podcast Science Soapbox, in which they feature an interview with President Obama’s Science Advisor and the former Director of the OSTP, Dr. John Holdren.

3. Florida residents now allowed to challenge what is taught in science class

Public school textbooks are already in a precipitous position, with their content held hostage by the text book review boards in large states such as Texas that are textbook publisher’s largest customers. This new law will only serve to make things worse, as it will allow parents to challenge any educational material. School curricula should be assembled by experts in their respective fields and based on established knowledge, fact, and peer review. While parents should be allowed to weigh in, their opinions should not hold sway over truth.

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