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19 November 2018

Having “The [Climate Change] Talk” with your family

By Shane M Hanlon Thanksgiving can be a time for food, football, and family. And sometimes…uncomfortable family chats, especially around science. We live in a nation where there are disconnects between understanding and acceptance of major scientific issues such as GMOs, evolution, vaccinations, and (especially relevant to AGU scientists*) climate change. With climate change specifically, politics plays a role. Over half of Americans accept human-induced climate change, as well as …

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26 October 2018

A boatload of scientists ran for public office this year. How are they doing?

By Shane M Hanlon Scientists have traditionally been underrepresented in public office, especially at the federal level. In Congress, there are only two PhD scientists – Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill), a physicist, and Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA), a mathematician. While efforts to get more scientists in public office are not new, they ramped up in response to the 2016 election. For example, 314 Action, a DC–based nonprofit leading an organized effort to …

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23 October 2018

Imagine how hot the future will be by looking to your past

How do you frame the messaging behind changes in future climate? Remind people of the hottest days they’ve ever experienced.

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12 October 2018

Sharing stories of consensus building: the missing step in the scientific method

By Kathy Kelsey As a kid in school, I learned the narrative of the scientific method: a scientist makes an observation about the world which inspires a question, they pose a hypothesis, carry out an experiment, and produce and share their results.  Now that I am a practicing scientist I have learned that this narrative neglects a key component: the process of building consensus among scientists.  It’s important that we …

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12 September 2018

Talking health might shift attitudes on global warming

By Shane M Hanlon Global warming is a political issue. It shouldn’t be, but it is. I recently wrote a post about it that outlined political views on the subject, probably best summarized by this1: Takeaway: majority of folks think that global warming is happening but views vary widely based on political affiliation. You might ask, “Yeah, but there are a bunch of different people in political parties. What about …

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2 August 2018

American (voter) attitudes on climate change are complex

Americans have strong feelings about climate change. In addition to political affiliation, it turns out that how old you are can influence the degree to which you accept human-influenced clinate change

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10 July 2018

Brains for breakfast: Can cannibalism lead to disease resistance?

The Fore tribe in Papua New Guinea has a long history of ritualistic cannibalism, resulting in a crippling outbreak of a degenerative brain disease called Kuru in the 1950’s. The epidemic devestated the tribe, but some survivors of the Kuru epidemic are now found to show signs of evolved Kuru resistance and possibly other degenerative neurological diseases.

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3 July 2018

Diseases and blogs and fieldwork, oh my!

While my day-to-day life has shifted to science communication, storytelling, and podcasting (check out our newest episode!), I’m still and always will be an ecologist at heart. That’s why I’m so happy that AGU permits me to leave my desk job for three weeks every summer to serve as a professor of disease ecology for the University of Pittsburgh (my Alma mater) Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology.

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7 May 2018

Communicating about rare and common species

On March 19, in a grassy enclosure at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, a northern white rhinoceros named Sudan died. He was the last of his kind.

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12 February 2018

We’re at OSM18!

Wanna talk scicomm, policy, or outreach at OSM18? Find me!

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