Science by People for People

To the average person it might look like scientists operate in an ivory tower away from reality, which, can make engaging in scientific issues intimidating. To bridge this gap engaged citizens and scientists have launched themselves into the “citizen science” way of doing things. Basically what that means is that they’re taking science to the streets.

Through Uprose and HabitatMap, another New York-based environmental justice organization, Gomez and a handful of other youth banded together to figure out exactly how much pollution the expressway was coughing into the neighborhood. “There are no entrances to the expressway in Sunset Par–just the exits,” says fellow youth organizer Brian Gonzales. “So we’re left with thousands of cars and trucks passing through every day.” The exhaust from those cars–particularly particulate matter 2.5, which is so small that 60 particles lined up equal the width of a human hair–is especially pernicious. While larger particles may lodge in nose hairs or the back of the throat and never make it into the body, PM 2.5 passes deep into the lungs and eventually the blood. They cause short-term problems like asthma and bronchitis, and cancer and heart disease later.

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15,000 Scientists Want to Change Climate Change

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They want to stabilize the change and, ideally, change the trajectory we’re on.

Climate change is happening faster than predicted and the positive feedback loops have started (meaning that it’s even harder to stop climate change) – this is the warning from over 15,000 scientists. The Alliance of World Scientists released a statement and invite more scientists to sign on. They’re clear in what they want to do: “Our vital importance and role comes from scientists’ unique responsibility as stewards of human knowledge and champions of evidence-based decision-making.”

It all started as an assumption that scientists cared, and they care a lot.

Within two days, there were 1,200 signatures. Of the more than 15,364 signatures to date, 527 are from Canada, ranking eighth among 184 countries.

The goal of the paper is to raise awareness about the fragile state of the planet.

“The scientists around the world are very concerned about the state of the world, the environmental situation and climate change,” Ripple said. “So this allows them to have a collective voice.”

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Canadians: Support the Science Integrity Project

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Polling opens for the Canadian election on October 9th with the final day to vote on the 19th. This election, the organization Evidence for Democracy (and many more!) are asking you to vote with science in mind.

The Canadian Conservative party blatantly ignores scientific facts in their policies and this has led to some horrible practices in Canada. The good news is that you can change that this October by voting for knowledge, look into the Science Integrity Project

Our project reflects the collective wisdom of 75 leaders — in science, indigenous knowledge, public policy, civil society, and governance — who are concerned about the erosion of an evidence-based approach to public policy decision-making in Canada.

Why SIP:
The Science Integrity Project was created in response to growing concerns [1] that many public policy decisions made in Canada — and in its cities, provinces and territories — are not consistently supported by solid information derived from the best available evidence — from science and indigenous knowledge.
What is SIP:
Through a series of in-depth interviews and a national forum, we developed principles for improved decision making on the basis of the best available evidence.

Check out the Science Integrity Project

Why Science is Important in Democracies

Canada is in the midst of an election, and it’s a close one. The anti-science incumbents have spent a lot of effort muzzling scientists in Canada as they pursue their environment-destroying goals. Why does this matter?

In a democracy it is necessary to have educated debates about issues instead of baseless opinons and flat-out hearsay. Over at the Tyee they took a look at the important role science plays in democratic discourse.

Government scientists occupy a special place in our democracy. They are the only scientists paid specifically to protect the public interest. They are also the only scientists whose task is to inform government on scientific matters, to the exclusion of any competing interests. Silencing government scientists ultimately damages the common good.

My colleague Jeff Hutchings once wrote: “Let’s be clear. When you inhibit the communication of science, you inhibit science. The legitimacy of scientific findings depends crucially on unfettered engagement, review, and discussion among interested individuals, including members of the public.”

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A Look Into the Ig Nobel Awards

The Ig Nobel Prize is dedicated to science that makes you laugh then makes you think. It’s a fun and great way to get people engaged in science while exploring questions that sound rather bizarre.

As founder of the Ig Nobel awards, Marc Abrahams explores the world’s most improbable research. In this thought-provoking (and occasionally side-splitting) talk, he tells stories of truly weird science — and makes the case that silliness is critical to boosting public interest in science.

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