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May 24, 2018

Secret Science – Insight into a Misleading Policy

In April, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Scott Pruitt, signed a draft policy that would change how the agency uses science in decision-making. This proposed policy would exclude scientific information from consideration during the drafting of regulations if the research cannot be validated by the public. What would be so wrong with making data public? Transparency sounds like a good thing, but this would be transparency in name only …

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House Spending Bill: Support for Science Agencies Not Across the Board 

Appropriations: Part 1 The appropriations process is so far following a more conventional timeline this year as opposed to last year’s drawn-out deals. On 17 May (compared with 13 July last year), the House Appropriations committee approved the fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019) Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill, which funds NASA, NOAA, and NSF. The bill continues to grow funding for NASA and NSF over FY2018 levels. However, NOAA funding takes a …

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May 21, 2018

Building Influence in an Election Year

“Once you hear the thunder, it’s too late to build the ark.” When I heard this phrase, I was immediately struck by how perfectly it summarizes the importance of engaging with your legislators. It’s imperative to engage with and know your legislators before you need something from them. As it’s an election year, legislators are more focused on constituents than ever. This is the perfect opportunity to get to know …

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May 18, 2018

Safeguard Our Infrastructure by Improving Space Weather Forecasts

Today’s post is written by Tai-Yin Huang, Professor of Physics, Penn State University Space weather has become increasingly important due to our heavy dependence on technological infrastructure.  Space weather can cause disruptions to telecommunications and GPS navigation, failure or mis-operation of satellites, loss of electricity due to damage to power grids, and damage to pipelines, all of which compromise our personal and national security.  Luckily, monitoring space weather conditions and …

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May 17, 2018

Streamgages: Infrastructure to Protect Infrastructure

Today’s post is written by Sandra M. Eberts, U.S. Geological Survey Hydrologist and Deputy Program Coordinator (Acting), Groundwater and Streamflow Information Program Everyone is talking about infrastructure, especially the high cost of deferred maintenance and reconstruction. If only it were possible to keep infrastructure from degrading in the first place. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) streamgages can help do just that. The USGS National Streamflow Network has more than 8,200 streamgages—operated …

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May 16, 2018

Infrastructure Week: NEHRP and the Threat from Below

Editor’s Note: During infrastructure week, AGU Public Affairs is highlighting how science helps to protect our infrastructure. Below is a re-post of a recent blog by leadership of AGU’s Seismology Section regarding current legislation to reauthorize the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program and improve our nation’s resiliency to seismological activity. This legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Senators Feinstein and Murkowski. AGU, in partnership with other societies like …

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May 15, 2018

Can Supercomputers Do More for Future Human Resilience Than the Abacus?

Today’s post is written by David Trossman, Research Associate, University of Texas-Austin’s Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences Scientists like Joseph Fourier, John Tyndall, and Eunice Foot made discoveries that led Svante Arrhenius to calculate how doubling the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would affect global temperatures.  This was one of the first qualitatively accurate models of the Earth system.  And this was in the 1800s.  The additional …

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May 14, 2018

Infrastructure Helps Us, But Who’s Helping Infrastructure?

Imagine your (perhaps idealized) morning routine: your alarm goes off, you promptly arise and heat up some breakfast, read the news, shower and brush your teeth, and skip out the door to work. No part of this routine would be nearly so simple without waste and water management systems, telecommunications networks, the electric grid, or roads and public transit. However, it’s easy to overlook the infrastructure that supports our daily …

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May 8, 2018

Speaking Up for Science: Whistleblowing Is a Protected Right

Today’s post is written by Dana Gold, Director of Education, Government Accountability Project (GAP) Science professionals who refuse to stay silent in the face of direct evidence of abuses that betray the public trust—whistleblowers—are often the best mechanism for holding the powerful accountable and protecting the public interest. Science whistleblowers have exposed inappropriate censorship of climate science documents intended for Congress and the public, halted work at the Hanford nuclear …

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April 2, 2018

Marching for Science? Know Your Rights

Today’s post is written by the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund. Many scientists in the United States have been moved to action as a result of the current political climate. If you’re one of them and you’re planning to join the March for Science on April 14 — or participate in other activism — it’s crucial that you know your rights. Although the chances of running into trouble when you stand up …

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