The University of California Washington Center (UCDC) is a multi-campus residential, instructional, and research center that provides undergraduate students and faculty from the University of California with opportunities to experience Washington’s rich cultural, political and international heritage. Each year, select UC students intern with Members of Congress, the White House, cabinet agencies, advocacy groups, scientific organizations, public relations firms, and the news media.
In December 2015, 191 countries adopted the Paris Climate Agreement and took it back to their home countries for ratification. Now, almost a year later, the agreement met the threshold standards for ratification, enabling it to go into effect. It’s a hopeful time for climate activists, but even with ratification, much could still go wrong in meeting the agreement’s goals. A vocal minority of climate skeptics refute the science, object to costly mitigation and adaptation efforts, and threaten to unravel recent progress.
Within cancer research circles, there has been quite a bit of press about immunotherapy and the Vice President’s Cancer Moonshot program. Ultimately, this program is looking to streamline how cancer research is done in order to increase the speed of discovery that will produce 10 years of progress within five years.
I recently saw a post on my Facebook feed that stated the fluoridation of tap water in the U.S. is causing neurological damage to children. As this conclusion was purportedly reached in a paper published in the “world’s most prestigious medical journal,” I was naturally intrigued.
Flint /noun/: a hard type of rock that produces a spark when struck. In Flint Michigan approximately 8,000 children under the age of six were exposed to unsafe levels of lead through their drinking water. This is perhaps one of the most severe cases of lead poisoning in the United States; and hopefully the spark that ignites significant change to current drinking water safety policies.
A headline recently caught my eye, “Why the FDA shouldn’t bow to parental pressure over Duchenne drug.” The article was about the pending and apparently unlikely FDA approval of a drug called eteplirsen, which was developed for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
The COP is here. Yet another Conference of Parties to agonize over climate change impacts, who’s responsible, and who’s going to foot the bill. Given past history, I doubt much will change substantially at the COP itself when it comes to formalities and actual decisions (although there has been promising noise with US-China joint statements and the like).