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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I'm the President of the American Council on Science and Health and founded Science 2.0® in 2006.

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Yesterday, Democrats in the U.S. Senate which, along with the House of Representatives, form the two chambers of Congress, which are one of the three branches of government,(1) refused to fund a "continuing resolution" to essentially keep funding government as is while a long-term budget is negotiated. 

Once again, there are a few claims that this will mean catastrophe for science funding, but many are now saying shutting down government is necessary and even courageous. Yet this exact same event occurred two, four, five, seven and even 22 years ago and it was framed as reckless and dangerous and a disaster for science.

What is different? Those other times a Democrat was President and Republicans were balking.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel had unkind things to say about America after the country declined to participate in a new agreement, the Paris accords, knowing full well that China had been given unlimited emissions and was not even going to discuss it again until 2030.
A new Pew Research Center survey examining people’s experiences in the workplace and perceptions of fair treatment for women provides just the results you would guess; half of women say they have been subjected to gender discrimination.

The survey was 4,914 U.S. adults was conducted from July 11 to Aug. 10, 2017 and included 2,344 workers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) jobs.
A new "raw" trend has made its way into the paper of record for anti-science woo and miracle vegetable fads - the New York Times.

Along with articles about astrology and acupuncture, they have now given us a look at the "raw water" craze, which is to say they have basically created the craze by giving it free publicity, which they can then write about it for their audience which, let's be honest, loves anything alternative, especially if it's against evil corporate or government science water.

They even endorse wacky charlatan Doug Evans, who rewarded shareholders stung by the failure of his Juicero juicing company by indulging in a 10-day cleanse, drinking nothing but "Live Water". 
With tax cuts in 2018, the federal government is going to either increase the deficit or cut spending. And conservatives argue spending should be cut.

Will that impact science? It certainly will, but science was also not helped by the Obama administration, which focused on solar panels and healthcare but not science. After the heady days of the George W. Bush era, when NIH funding practically doubled, academics likely felt that increased on top of that could be realized, but it was not the case.
Meleah Geertsma, a senior attorney in the midwestern US for Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) - yes, they have so many attorneys they have titles like "Senior" and for geographical regions - says they are suing the federal government...again. This time over natural gas.

Their complaint is that the government rolled back the previous administration's increases, basically some expanded parking space, near national monuments and is allowing development again. And development may mean clean-burning natural gas, which NRDC now claims causes cancer.