As we approach the Bush Administrationâs final year, the gap between science and policy grows wider each day. Advances in science that could be used for the public good are rarely incorporated into public policy; some federal agencies seem almost unaware that the scientific literature exists and new studies are being published all the time.
A new wind is coming, though. The noteworthy failures of the FDA, EPA, OSHA, MSHA , CPSC, and other federal agencies that weâve been chronicling here at the Pump Handle have led to increased demands for a government that uses science to protect the public.
To contribute to this effort, we are starting a new feature, Journal Scan, to report on articles in the scientific literature that inform, or should inform, public policy aimed at protecting our health and environment. In a few short paragraphs, we will try to summarize important scientific papers in non-technical language and discuss their policy implications.
We hope you, our readers, will contribute to this occasional feature. Please add not just your comments but send us full entries, as you see scientific papers which need to be part of the policy discourse.
3 thoughts on “Introducing “Journal Scan””
I have one question: Will you also endeavor to uncover who is sponsoring the research being published?
Corporate-sponsored research is often less than ideal in its objectivity.
Thanks for the suggestion. We do plan to discuss the study in question’s funding, where relevant.
We just published a paper that is relevant: “Reporting Science and Conflicts of Interest in the Lay Press” in PLoS ONE. We found that the public is rarely informed of financial interests when reading news about new research, even when financial ties of researchers are readily available.
Big fan of The Pump Handle, thank you!