Science is necessary, but not sufficient, for good policymaking
In the wake of the poor performance of the Trump Administration’s efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, there has been advice that the Biden Administration should “follow the science” in developing its coronavirus policies and strategies. While an emphasis on a clean break from the prior Administration’s rejection of the nature …CONTINUE READING
How to engage the public when everyone on Earth is a stakeholder?
It’s been a surprisingly busy year for solar geoengineering research. In late December, Congress appropriated $4 million to NOAA to study the influence of atmospheric aerosols on climate, with an eye on assessing “solar climate interventions.” In March, Australian scientists ran a trial of a cloud-seeding technology on the Great Barrier Reef that may …CONTINUE READING
A lesson in judicial humility and a thought experiment about property rights
This topic may be a bit far afield for this blog, but dinosaurs are always worth considering . . . The Montana Supreme Court has resolved an intriguing dispute about ownership of fossilized dinosaur remains that turned on the question of whether those remains were or were not “minerals.” In the process, the Montana court …CONTINUE READING
EPA’s new proposal would go beyond even the far-reaching original to limit agency use of the best science
Today, on behalf of 100 environmental and administrative law professors affiliated with 70 universities in 33 states and the District of Columbia, Sean Hecht and I filed a comment letter urging EPA to withdraw its updated proposal to limit the use of science in agency decisionmaking processes, misleadingly named the “Strengthening Transparency in Science” rule. …CONTINUE READING
As with climate science, Trump is in denial about public health issues.
Anti-vaxxers are a lot like the climate denial crowd, but with two differences. First, there hasn’t been any corporate money fomenting skepticism about vaccines, unlike climate denial. Second, anti-vaxxers are sprinkled across the ideological spectrum. Still, the similarities between these two forms of anti-scientism are greater. One big similarity: both anti-science views have the support …CONTINUE READING
In the peer review process, articles submitted to scientific journals are sent to experts in the field who then assess the methodology, results and conclusions. Based on their feedback, authors often revise and re-submit, publishing an improved article as a result. Peer reviewers rarely attempt the actual experiments described in the paper. Irreproducible results are …CONTINUE READING
A whiles back I wrote about how the New York Times’ environmental coverage had been in decline. The public editor at the Times has a new article stating that environmental coverage has recently increased substantially. I think that is a great thing. But I want to focus on another element of the public editor’s article. …CONTINUE READING
Here on Legal Planet, we talk a lot about climate skeptics/deniers, and we’re highly critical of them (for good reason!). A lot of those climate skeptics/deniers are conservatives. But there’s no monopoly on scientific ignorance on one end of the political spectrum. An example of that is close to home here at UC Berkeley. In …CONTINUE READING
Cross-posted at CPRBlog. The Washington Post reports today that scientists think they can resurrect the Pinta Island subspecies of Galapagos tortoise whose last remaining member, “Lonesome George” (pictured), died this summer. Scientists at Ecuador’s Galapagos National Park say they have found enough Pinta Island genetic material in tortoise on another nearby island that an intensive …CONTINUE READING
According to a recent article in the American Sociological Review, rejection of science is on the rise: Just over 34 percent of conservatives had confidence in science as an institution in 2010, representing a long-term decline from 48 percent in 1974, according to a paper being published today in American Sociological Review. That represents a …CONTINUE READING