Student Organization for Advocacy and Policy

Our Picks in Science Policy April 16th-April 23rd

Written by Ben Wolfson Originally published at https://wp.me/p8tLO8-2j Of course, the big news this week was the Science March. With practically every news outlet hosting think-pieces and op-eds about the march, it seemed like other articles about science and science policy were pushed out of the public eye a bit. I’ll share a list of science march articles at the end, but for now here are a few of my favorite non-march related articles from the past week. 1. Diversity Problems in the March for Science Ok, one march related article. This is a great summary of the diversity problems that...

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The March for Science: Pros, Cons, and Everything in Between

Authored by Eric Kong and Courtney Chandler Originally Published at: http://www.graduate.umaryland.edu/gsa/gazette/April-2017/Science-March/ The March for Science is slated for Saturday, April 22nd, the weekend after Earth Day. What started as a trending idea in a discussion thread on Reddit has become a nationally-organized movement to put science and scientists out in front. It’s a nice sentiment – scientists getting out of the lab and collectively showing up in the national spotlight to promote an evidence-based political environment. But will it work? According to their website, the official mission for the march is to “champion robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a...

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Our picks in Science Policy April 9th-15th

Written by Ben Wolfson Originally published at https://wp.me/p8tLO8-2e 1. The problems with cancer research cell lines As a cancer biologists, there are several breast cancer cell lines I use every day. Some of these are derived from human tumors, some from mouse tumors that closely mimic what we see in human patients. However, we’ve known for a long time that cell lines don’t cut it in research. They’re good for the basics, but findings must be verified in an animal before it can even be attempted to be brought into the clinic. The NCI-60 was a panel of 60 human cancer...

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Our picks in Science Policy writing April 1-8

Written by Ben Wolfson Originally published at https://wp.me/p8tLO8-26 Why does it matter that the President has no Science Advisor? One of the positions that remains unfilled in the Trump white house is that of science advisor. In this article, Obama’s science advisor, John P. Holdren, goes into what the presidential science advisor does, what the history of the role is, and why the role is important. In short, science and technology impact almost all policy decisions made, whether they’re related to the economy, public health, energy, agriculture, the environment, national security, diplomacy etc. The role of the science advisor and Office of...

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No Science Funding? Sad!

Authored by Benjamin Wolfson President Trump recently released his first budget proposal, which would go into effect in 2018. This budget proposal contains major funding cuts to science, significantly increasing military funding while drastically cutting the budgets of the Environmental Protection Agency, National Institute of Health, Department of Energy, and numerous other scientific agencies. While the outcry against these cuts from the scientific community has been unanimous, it’s easy to forget the specific reasons why cutting science funding is such a bad idea. Typically, when we talk about the benefits of research, we discuss them in terms of the material benefits that are received (better medicine, computers, etc.) or...

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