Is The Trump Administration Changing the EPA’s Mission from Protecting Human Health and the Environment to Protecting Industry?

United States (Conversation) – The Environmental Protection Agency made news recently for excluding reporters from a “summit” meeting on chemical contamination in drinking water. Episodes like this are symptoms of a larger problem: an ongoing, broad-scale takeover of the agency by industries it regulates. We are social scientists with interests in environmental health, environmental justice and inequality and democracy. We recently published a study, conducted under the auspices of the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative and based on interviews with 45 current and retired EPA employees, which concludes that EPA…

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African Women are More Active in Politics in Some Countries Than Others

Africa (Conversation) – Women are less likely than men to participate in politics in Africa. This gender gap affects everything from attending community meetings to contacting elected officials, joining others to raise public issues, expressing a partisan preference and even voting. On average, women also participate less than men even when they have the same level of education, are in work, are the same age, and express the same level of interest in political affairs. This gap has important political consequences. The most important is that elected officials are less…

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How a Novel Wireless Technology is Helping Conserve Wildlife, Fight Pollution, Save Farmers Money and More

(Ensia) –  The sun beats down on the dried Tanzanian soils. Dust is slowly settling back down to the ground in the wake of a parade of tourists’ vehicles, which are now disappearing over the horizon. It’s dry season in the Serengeti National Park, and safari trucks are groaning under the weight of excited visitors. The park, a World Heritage Site, draws tourists from all over the world. Its ecosystem is carefully managed by hard-working park rangers — a delicate balancing act between wildlife promotion and preservation made even more daunting…

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How a Masculine Culture that Favors Sexual Conquests Gave us Today’s ‘Incels’

(Conversation) – After the recent shooting at the Santa Fe, Texas, high school, the mother of one of the victims claimed that the perpetrator had specifically killed her daughter because she refused his repeated advances, embarrassing him in front of his classmates. A month prior, a young man, accused of driving a van into a crowded sidewalk that killed ten people in Toronto, posted a message on Facebook minutes before the attack, that celebrated another misogynist killer and said: “The Incel Rebellion has already begun!” These and other mass killings…

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Only 1 in 4 Women Who Have Been Sexually Harassed Tell Their Employers. Here’s Why They’re Afraid

United States (Conversation) – On May 30, a grand jury indicted Harvey Weinstein on charges he raped one woman and forced another to perform oral sex on him. And new allegations and lawsuits against the movie producer continue to pile up. Since the earliest reports of his abuse came out in October, scores of women in Hollywood have taken to social media and shared their own stories of sexual assault and harassment by Weinstein. And thanks to the #MeToo movement, women in a range of professions have also found their…

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Protestors in Ramallah honor Razan Al Najjer, young medic executed by Israeli forces in Gaza

Palestine (ISM) – Sunday at midday, hundreds of protestors marched through the streets of Ramallah to mourn the execution of Razan Al Najjer, the 21-year-old medic who was executed by Israeli forces in Gaza on Friday. Members of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society from across the West Bank, largely students, marched with portraits of Razan. Protestors held signs calling for #JusticeForRazan and end to Israeli war crimes and the seige in Gaza. Hundreds of protestors march through the streets of Ramallah to mourn the execution of Razan Al Najjer, the 21-year-old…

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The Government has Long Treated Nevada as a Dumping Ground, and it’s Not Just Yucca Mountain

Nevada, United States (Conversation) – Nevadans can be forgiven for thinking they are in an endless loop of “The Walking Dead” TV series. Their least favorite zombie federal project refuses to die. In 2010, Congress had abandoned plans to turn Yucca Mountain, about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, into the nation’s only federal dump for nuclear waste so radioactive it requires permanent isolation. And the House recently voted by a wide margin to resume these efforts. Nevada’s U.S. Senators Dean Heller, a Republican, and Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat,…

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‘Neglect’ the Cause of Thousands of Deaths on Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico (Sputnik) – A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine Tuesday estimated that some 4,645 people died following the September 2017 landfall of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico – not 64, the official death toll. According to the study, Puerto Rico’s official count of 64 is a “substantial underestimate” and “underscores the inattention of the US government to the frail infrastructure of Puerto Rico.” Researchers came to their conclusion by surveying some 3,299 households across the island and inquiring as to how many people within the home died from injuries and illness sustained as a result of the hurricane….

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Five Books by Women, About Women, for Everyone

(Conversation) – Women’s writing has long been a thorn in the side of the male literary establishment. From fears in the late 18th century that reading novels – particularly written by women – would be emotionally and physically dangerous for women, to the Brontë sisters publishing initially under male pseudonyms, to the dismissal of the genre of romance fiction as beyond the critical pale, there has been a dominant culture which finds the association of women and writing to be dangerous. It has long been something to be controlled, managed…

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The Forgotten History of Memorial Day

United States (Conversation) – In the years following the bitter Civil War, a former Union general took a holiday originated by former Confederates and helped spread it across the entire country. The holiday was Memorial Day, and this year’s commemoration on May 28 marks the 150th anniversary of its official nationwide observance. The annual commemoration was born in the former Confederate States in 1866 and adopted by the United States in 1868. It is a holiday in which the nation honors its military dead. Gen. John A. Logan, who headed…

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