iOS app Android app

Seth Shulman
GET UPDATES FROM Seth Shulman
Seth Shulman is the editorial director at the Union of Concerned Scientists and a veteran science journalist whose work has appeared in Nature, The Atlantic, Discover, Technology Review, Parade and many other publications. A 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, Shulman is the author of six books including The Telephone Gambit:Chasing Alexander Graham Bell's Secret and coauthor of Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living.

Entries by Seth Shulman

Got Science? Vaccinating Ourselves Against Misinformation

(122) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 5:35 PM

It is dismaying that fears and misinformation about vaccines have led the scourge of measles to return in the United States some 15 years after it had been officially eradicated here. And it's especially discouraging to see some early 2016 presidential hopefuls such as Chris Christie and Rand Paul pander...

Read Post

Got Science? The Lesson in Hyundai's $100 Million Fine

(4) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 10:24 AM

Can consumers trust companies' information about their products? That's the critical question raised by the U.S. government announcement last week that the Hyundai Motor Group, makers of Hyundai and Kia cars, would pay a record $100 million penalty for submitting inaccurate fuel economy and emissions data on their...

Read Post

Got Science? On Green Energy, Ohio Ignores the Evidence

(8) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 6:17 PM

While most U.S. states are experiencing a surge in renewable energy that exceeds even the rosiest predictions, one state -- Ohio -- has chosen this moment to backtrack. Earlier this year, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a law that temporarily freezes the energy efficiency and renewable energy standards the state...

Read Post

Got Science? Ohio Wake-up Call on Fracking Disclosure Laws

(46) Comments | Posted July 31, 2014 | 5:53 PM

2014-07-31-ohio_fracking.jpg

At a Halliburton fracking site in Clarington, Ohio, in the southeastern part of the state, a fire broke out on a recent Saturday morning. What happened next should be a wake-up call to every U.S. citizen, especially the millions of Americans who live...

Read Post

Got Science? Reasons for Hope About Political Polarization

(2) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 10:59 AM

With hyper-partisanship in Congress stalling government action and blocking science-based decision-making in recent years, it's little wonder that Congress' public approval rating is at an all-time, single-digit low. But are Americans' views really as polarized as our national politics suggest? New data from the Pew Research Center reveal some illuminating...

Read Post

Got Science? Top 5 Science 'Fails'

(3) Comments | Posted June 10, 2014 | 11:39 AM

Polls consistently show that strong majorities of Americans trust independent scientists and believe in the importance of using the best available science to help guide our decision making. But you wouldn't know it from some of the recent decisions by our political leaders. On too many occasions, politics and vested...

Read Post

Got Science? These Phony Attacks on EPA Have Real Casualties

(3) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 12:56 PM

Gina McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, received a much-deserved standing ovation for her major address at the National Academies of Science last week in which she strenuously countered what she called "a constant assault" by a small, vocal group of critics "playing a dangerous game" of...

Read Post

Got Science? This Climate Smear Spurred a Hate Mail Barrage

(14) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 3:50 PM

2014-04-07-Torcello.jpg.png

Lawrence Torcello, a philosophy professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, never imagined he would become the focus of a vicious barrage of hate mail when, last month, he published an article in a British online journal about the ethics of...

Read Post

Got Science? Momentum Building for Deforestation-Free Palm Oil

(1) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 4:15 PM

It's always great to see the door crack open for progress on an issue when the parties involved start to recognize a "win-win" solution. Such a tipping-point moment is coming into view in the campaign to halt the widespread, devastating deforestation currently resulting from growing world consumption of palm oil....

Read Post

Got Science? Why This Climate Scientist's Libel Case Matters

(7) Comments | Posted February 12, 2014 | 6:03 PM

Back in 2012, after the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the National Review each published pieces that likened climate scientist Michael E. Mann to a child molester and called his work a fraud, Mann fought back with a lawsuit, charging them with libel. Now, in a preliminary ruling, a Superior Court...

Read Post

Got Science? Beyond the Spin: Here's Why Energy Efficiency Standards Are Worth Celebrating

(0) Comments | Posted January 14, 2014 | 1:17 PM

With tighter efficiency standards finally kicking in for 60- and 40-watt lightbulbs this month, the Heritage Foundation's blog recently encouraged Americans to "stock up on incandescent bulbs" before the federal government "takes them away."

Talk about bad advice.

According to the Heritage Foundation, those old, outmoded incandescent...

Read Post

2013 'Got Science?' Champions

(1) Comments | Posted December 11, 2013 | 3:03 PM

2013-12-11-champions6.jpg
With Congressional partisanship reaching unprecedented levels and science too frequently under attack from a vocal minority, it's all the more vital to stand up for the basic idea that our choices should be informed by the best evidence and data available. That...

Read Post

Got Science? Scientists in Nebraska Say 'No' to Political Interference

(20) Comments | Posted November 7, 2013 | 5:18 PM

Al Dutcher, Nebraska's state climatologist, is an expert on climate change and a professor at the University of Nebraska. He's also a self-described conservative who is outraged that the state legislature and Nebraska's Republican governor are letting politics interfere with questions of science.

As Dutcher puts it, "After 25...

Read Post

Got Science? Who's Afraid of a 'Science Laureate?'

(35) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 4:42 PM

With partisan Congressional brinksmanship grabbing the media spotlight at the moment, it is worth noting that, last month, a noncontroversial bill authorizing the president to appoint an annual "science laureate" was moving swiftly through the House and Senate with broad bipartisan support. The bill had been scheduled for a floor...

Read Post

Got Science? Fighting a Preventable Workplace Killer (Finally)

(1) Comments | Posted September 12, 2013 | 6:46 PM

The power of science is rarely showcased more clearly than when it helps craft policies that definitively save human lives. That's why it is such welcome news that, in a long-overdue development, the White House last month allowed a proposed new science-based rule to move forward that will...

Read Post

Got Science? A 'Green Tea Party' May Be Brewing

(1121) Comments | Posted August 8, 2013 | 6:21 PM

With partisan politics trumping science-based solutions all too often these days, it's especially heartening when people overcome political differences to let solid data point the way toward practical solutions. That's what happened in Georgia last month when state regulators voted to require Georgia Power -- the state's sole investor-owned electricity...

Read Post

Got Science? Pushing Back Against Corporate 'Counterfeit Science'

(110) Comments | Posted July 12, 2013 | 1:31 PM

Planted scientific articles. Attacks on individual scientists. Recent revelations in two separate court cases spotlight an often hidden form of fraud: corporations deliberately trying to manipulate scientific findings about the safety of their products. Documents in each of these cases reveal corporate dirty tricks that are beneath contempt -- a...

Read Post

Got Science? Fighting Legislative Attacks on Science Education

(361) Comments | Posted June 14, 2013 | 5:15 PM

Did you know that a law on the books in Louisiana right now explicitly forbids science teachers in the state's public schools from teaching evolution unless equal time is given to the Christian creation story? At its recent meeting on May 29, 2013, the Louisiana House Education Committee...

Read Post

Got Science? ALEC Threatens Food Safety With 'Ag Gag' Laws

(54) Comments | Posted May 13, 2013 | 3:37 PM

In an effort spearheaded by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and bankrolled by the Koch brothers and other corporate sponsors, state legislatures in most major agricultural states are being beset this year with so-called "ag-gag" bills -- repressive and misguided legislation that proposes to make it a crime to...

Read Post

Got Science? Giving South Carolinians the Climate Change Information They Deserve

(176) Comments | Posted April 11, 2013 | 10:19 AM

Reports came across my desk last month that the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) had been withholding a report about the local impact of climate change since November, 2011.

Everything about the story pointed to political interference, including the unexpected departure of former DNR Director John Frampton, who...

Read Post