The Center for Science and Democracy

Strengthening American democracy by advancing the essential role of science, evidence-based decision making, and constructive debate as a means to improve the health, security, and prosperity of all people.

Science, Democracy, and a Healthy Food Policy

Coming May 6, 2014, in Minneapolis, this Branscomb Forum will convene experts, advocates, and engaged citizens to explore how science can help advance healthier food environments for communities throughout the nation.

Find out more | Submit a public comment

The Tools You Need to Make Informed Decisions on Fracking

If you are an active citizen in a community facing decisions about fracking, our new informational toolkit is for you. Prepared in conjunction with our recent "Science, Democracy and Community Decisions on Fracking" forum, the toolkit will help you identify critical issues about potential impacts of fracking, distinguish reliable information from spin and misinformation, and engage with scientists, journalists, and other key players in your community.

 Explore the toolkit | Fracking forum page

Why a Center for Science and Democracy?

The role of science in our democracy has been marginalized, and science is increasingly misrepresented in our public discourse. This is a deeply troubling development at a time when we face huge challenges that require pragmatic, evidence-based solutions. The Center for Science and Democracy was created to address this problem.

What We're Doing

The Center's work takes many forms. We're producing original research and analysis, such as reports and case studies showing how science and democracy are (or too often, aren't) working together to solve problems. We're creating opportunities for public dialogue, such as our Branscomb Forum series, to help spark a national conversation on the role of science in our democracy. And we're calling on Americans—prominent thought leaders as well as ordinary citizens—to help us make the case for evidence-based solutions.

Our 2014 report, Tricks of the Trade, looks at how companies anonymously influence climate policy through their business and trade associations.

What You Can Do

To succeed, the Center for Science and Democracy will need the help of citizens, scientists and decisions makers like you—people who understand the importance of scientific evidence in solving our common problems, and want to be part of that solution.

"Democracy, like science, is an ongoing experiment, always building on documented evidence."

—John N., Fountain Hills, Arizona

Tell us why you think science is important for our democracy.

Take Action: Let Scientists Speak

Urge the FDA to develop strong traditional and social media policies to allow scientists to more effectively share their research and expertise with the public. Get involved

Scientific Integrity in Federal Policy Making

Science can play a crucial role in solving problems and making our country healthier, safer, and more prosperous—but only if it's free to do its job without political or corporate interference.

More about our scientific integrity work

Science and Democracy: A Rich History

Science and government have enjoyed a fruitful relationship in the United States, going all the way back to citizen-scientists like Franklin and Jefferson, whose interest in science is written into our founding documents.

More about the history of science and democracy in the U.S.

Science is far from a perfect instrument of knowledge. It is merely the best we have. In this respect, as in many others, it's like democracy.

—Carl Sagan

Join the conversation on The Equation, the UCS blog:

On Twitter

Got Science?

Stories about the use and misuse of science in government, politics, and the media

ALEC Threatens Food Safety with Whistleblower Suppression Laws

What South Carolinians Deserve to Know about Climate Change

Who We Are

Steering Committee

Our steering committee includes distinguished scientists, scholars and public policy experts with a broad range of experience and a shared commitment to advancing the role of science and evidence in solving our common problems.

Our Experts

Andrew Rosenberg
Director

Pallavi Phartiyal
Senior Analyst and Program Manager

Michael Halpern
Program Manager

Deborah Bailin
Analyst

Gretchen Goldman
Analyst

Celia Wexler
Senior Washington Representative

Contact Us

For more information about how to get involved and to learn about opportunities to support the Center, please contact Pallavi Phartiyal at pphartiyal@ucsusa.org or 617-301-8039.

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