The Union of Concerned Scientists has invited Frances to serve another term on its National Advisory Board. Her two-year tenure will begin September 1 and run through August 2014. “I am thrilled to serve an organization to which I feel so indebted,” says Frances. “I learn so much from the UCS.”
Established in 1969 by scientists and students at MIT after an on campus teach-in, the UCS is a leading social benefit organization partnering with scientists and citizens to find practical solutions to challenges that range from clean air, energy, and sustainable food production to global warming and biodiversity. The organization, headquartered in Cambridge, MA, is grounded in the belief that sound science can guide our efforts in improving our stewardship of the planet.
As a member of the group's NAB, Frances joins distinguished academics, scientists, writers, medical doctors, and more. Members also include actors and environmental activists Blythe Danner and Ed Begley, Jr., William S. Nye, PhD (better known as television educator Bill Nye "The Science Guy"), and green hotel Pioneer Tedd Saunders. The board supports the work of the UCS by holding three yearly meetings to discuss the organization’s strategic goals.
In the last two years, the NAB advised on the implementation of the newly created Center for Science and Democracy, an initiative “dedicated to restoring the essential role of science, evidence-based knowledge, and constructive debate in the U.S. policymaking process,” according to its website. The center seeks to achieve this through hosting science and democracy forums, building a network of leaders in relevant fields, and promoting the sharing of ideas between experts and non-experts.
The new Center speaks to the heart of the issue raised in Small Planet Institute’s own collaborative petition campaign to hold Oxford University Press accountable for maintaining basic scholarly standards.
What UCS is up to
A recent UCS publication, Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living, offers science-based advice to reduce our emissions as individuals, as well as strategies to inspire common action in our communities, workplaces, and local governments. It covers such essential topics as: how you get to work, how you heat your home, what you eat, and how you power your life. Also, useful tools throughout the book include concise and cited answers to commonly asked questions, charts and graphs of data, and “Fast Facts” about how exactly specific household features impact the environment.
Linked to the book's release is UCS’s 20/20/20 Cooler Smarter Challenge. The interactive 20-day program challenges you to cut your carbon emissions by 20% in one year, and helps set you on the right path to reach the goal. The free tool also includes key sets of data and infographics to see how individual efforts can help make a big difference. Plus, you’ll receive a free bumper sticker to let everyone know that you’re doing your part, and help get others in on the action!
You can receive a complimentary copy of the book with membership with the UCS, or keep an eye out for it at your local bookseller.