Strategic philanthropy in the post cap-and-trade years: Summary of new paper on U.S. foundation funding

In a paper published this week,  I review the history of U.S. philanthropic strategy relative to climate change, before assessing the important 5-year period following the defeat of the 2010 cap and trade bill and leading up to the 2016 elections. I analyze $557 million distributed across 2,502 grants by 19 major foundations, detailing the financial […]

The March for Science: Partisan protests put public trust in scientists at risk

May 1, 2017– On April 22, thousands of scientists and their supporters gathered in Washington, D.C., and at more than 600 other locations across the world to participate in the March for Science. Pegged to Earth Day, protesters voiced their opposition to proposed federal cuts to funding for scientific research and the planned rollback of […]

Models of knowledge-based journalism: Brokering knowledge, dialogue, and policy ideas

April 1, 2017— In 2013’s Informing the News, the eminent journalism scholar Thomas Patterson comprehensively reviewed the evidence in support of the well-worn criticisms of our contemporary news system. Journalists too often: give equal weight to accurate representations and faulty facts and flawed opinions, focus on conflict and strategy over substance, and favor personalities, dramatic […]

To survive the Trump years, scientists need to invest in social change strategies

January 1, 2017 —As newly elected president Donald Trump takes office, the scientific community faces the likelihood not only of unprecedented cuts in government funding for research, but also of bold new attacks on scientific expertise as a basis for policy making and decisions. Trump campaigned on a pledge to eliminate as much as $100 million […]

The science literacy paradox: Why really smart people tend to have the most biased opinions

September 1, 2016 —When presented with contradictory evidence about a politically contentious issue, it’s easy to fall into the trap of reacting emotionally and negatively to that information rather than responding with an open mind. We may not only discount or dismiss such evidence, we are also likely to quickly call into question the credibility of […]

Don’t fear a Franken public: The surprising reasons why we should label genetically modified foods

May 1, 2016—In January 2016, Campbell Soup generated headlines by announcing that it would voluntarily label its products containing genetically modified (GM) corn, soy, beets, and other crops. Like most food industry leaders, about three quarters of Campbell Soup products contain such ingredients. The company’s announcement came in advance of a summer deadline set by […]