Foundation News Archives: May 2016

May 26, 2016
Climate change is the keystone environmental problem of our times. While most proposed solutions emphasize reducing carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion, measures that protect our remaining wildlands are also a means to combat and adapt to climate change. The designation of Mojave Trails, Castle Mountains, and Sand to Snow National Monuments in the California desert is an important mechanism for the United States to help fulfill its promise as a global leader on climate change.Read more >
May 24, 2016
Fellow Eunice Blavascunas pleads on behalf of the threatened Białowieża Forest in Poland, which is both a national treasure and a global gem of biodiversity.Read more >
May 23, 2016
Fellow Rachel Morello-Frosch believes, despite the uncertainties, doctors and other clinicians can offer women very useful advice. For example, diets rich in organic foods reduce exposures to pesticides, as measured by urinary levels of their metabolites. And people can choose not to buy body lotions known to contain phthalates or furniture with foam cushions steeped in flame-retardants. Indeed, advising patients on the best ways to reduce potentially toxic chemical exposures is an essential component of public health prevention.Read more >
May 20, 2016
We scientists are the gatekeepers of the basic information that fuels decision making by nations, businesses and communities. As these public entities are more and more threatened by the advancing impacts of climate warming, from flooding, to water scarcity, to the spread of tropical diseases, our role as objective scientists has to change. We are so skilled at many, many detailed and quantitative tasks, but, as you would expect from a community of introverts, we are not great at shining that brilliant light back on ourselves.Read more >
May 18, 2016
In theory, local urban leadership on climate adaptation could significantly reduce the vulnerability of those who need the greatest protection. More people live in cities than ever, providing an opportunity to concentrate climate investments. In reality, most adaptation proposals try to protect existing development in coastal and low-lying urban areas in ways that perpetuate continued growth in these exposed areas. The fact is, there are winners and losers in urban climate adaptation projects, and it is the poorest and most marginalized who (as always) tend to lose.Read more >
May 18, 2016
While blood lead levels were declining, scientific evidence was mounting to show there is no safe level of exposure to lead in infants and young children. Studies showed that adverse neurological effects were happening at lower and lower levels of lead exposure. In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reduced the level of lead in blood used to identify those with elevated exposure to 5 µg/dL. Today, approximately 500,000 children have levels at or above 5 µg/dL.Read more >
May 10, 2016
At this year’s AAAS annual meeting, the volume of sessions and workshops about science communications clearly reflected the community’s growing appetite and interest. We’re notably moving past conversations about why scientists need to engage, and into conversations around how we can best support scientists to do so. Research shows that scientists do want to engage, but that they don’t have the time or resources to do it.Read more >
May 10, 2016
Subnational governments—cities, counties, and states in the U.S. and around the world—have an essential role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and implementing integrative approaches to adaptation.Read more >
May 10, 2016
I find it heartening that we still live in a world that can surprise us by the breadth and scope of its biological richness! Yet I’m also deeply disturbed by the cavalier attitude of some people toward living things, a grotesque anthropomorphism that too often assumes the rights and privileges of a despot without also the incumbent responsibilities of stewardship. It’s a maniacal disconnect between need and desire within our hedonistic humanity.Read more >
May 5, 2016
John Besley (Michigan State) and Anthony Dudo (University of Texas at Austin) are social scientists interested in the intersection of science, public engagement and communications. Their recent PLOS One paper described how scientists prioritize their communications objectives for public engagement.Read more >

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