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New Initiative Launches In San Diego To Reclaim Science’s Role In Policy Decisions

Evening Edition

Above: Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, talks to KPBS about a new initiative in San Diego devoted to Science and Democracy.

Aired 6/13/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Guest

Peter Frumhoff is the director of science and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Transcript

A new initiative from the Union of Concerned Scientists launched today in San Diego. It aims to build a Center for Science and Democracy to counter what it calls a "troubling trend": "understanding of science and respect for its role in decision making have declined."

Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy at the organization, which was founded to make sure science is heard in policy debates, told KPBS the center wants to "restore that pragmatic, evidence-based dialogue where facts really matter."

The initiative launched on the West Coast at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Frumhoff said in the debate over climate change, facts can be lost. But in other times in U.S. history, he said there was more respect for science.

"We have a long history in this country of rational debate," he said. "That's really been lost today."

"People in government certainly in many places feel like they're entitled to their own facts," he added. "The goal of the center is to really reawaken the public dialogue about the value of science and the values of our democracy."

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