Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Welcom back to an old friend and colleague

Go to the People section in Science of 2 December 2005. (Subscription required.)

Francesca Grifo

Political science: Working on biodiversity issues at the U.S. Agency for International Development and the National Institutes of Health, botanical systematist Francesca Grifo learned that policymaking is often guided by factors other than peer-reviewed science. She hopes to reduce the chances of that happening as director of a new permanent program on scientific integrity at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Grifo most recently worked as a policy instructor at Columbia University and curator of the American Museum of Natural History. She came to UCS this fall to make science a stronger force in the political arena. “Just because you’re right and just because you have your data doesn’t mean science takes the day,” she says.Among the challenges she wants to tackle are inadequate protections for whistleblowers, questionable appointments to federal scientific advisory boards, and the role of science in decisionmaking. To those who label UCS as partisan and liberal, she says “we’re focusing on this Administration because that’s what’s happening now.”

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