Science Meets Science: We can, but should we?

The Science Policy Group at Berkeley was recently awarded a Civic Engagement Microgrant from Research!America under its Science Meets Science initiative, an effort to bridge social scientists with STEM scientists. With this microgrant, we will be launching a short series of events on scientific ethics motivated by the phrase, “We can, but should we?” Through these events, we will connect students and researchers with policymakers and local citizens to initiate cross-disciplinary discussion and eventual policy action. For our series, we have selected three topics in science ethics and will host multiple topic-specific events including (1) public forums between leading experts, (2) action-oriented policy roundtables focused on developing one-pagers and white papers, and (3) ethics-centered informational videos for the general public. Our topics and timeline are as follows:

  • November 2019 – After the Wildfires: Where should we live?
  • January 2020 – Don’t Have a Cow: Will fake meat save the planet?
  • March 2020 – Artificial Intelligence: It’s smart but is it just?

Our first public forum, “After the Wildfires: Where should we live?” is on Monday, November 25th, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM PST in Anthony Hall. We will be joined by:

  • Professor Scott Stephens – Professor in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley
  • Dr. Laurie Johnson –  Urban Planning Consultant
  • Professor Louise Comfort – Professor of Public and Urban Affairs and Director of the Center for Disaster Management at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh; Visiting Scholar at the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS)

More details about the project can be found here and on the #scimeetssci channel on our Slack.

Plastic waste reduction meta-review

Members of the Science Policy Group at Berkeley have assembled a meta-review on plastic waste reduction for the National Science Policy Network 2020 Election Initiative, an effort to promote science policy regarding critical issues in the US ahead of the 2020 election. The meta-review summarizes resources in four categories:

  1. Policy resources – We have compiled resources that provide guidance in crafting legislation that addresses plastic pollution.
  2. Existing and proposed legislation – We have identified relevant legislation at the state, national, and international levels.
  3. Data resources – We have compiled studies on plastic waste management, the economics of plastic recycling, and the effects of microplastics on human health and the environment.
  4. Stakeholders – We have found organizations that play an active role in shaping the agenda for plastic pollution reduction.

Alex Epstein, Julie Fornaciari, Emily Harari, Will Horner, Katie Latimer, Ananya Nandy, and Emma Vargo contributed to this effort.