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Updates regarding science policy with an impact on Puerto Rico and ways for scientists to get involved.

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Cleaning Vieques should not threaten its residents or the environment

Luis Alexis Rodríguez Cruz's picture

For more than 60 years, 75% of Vieques, an island municipality of Puerto Rico, were used by the US Navy as military practice grounds. Though the US forces left Vieques in 2003, after historical protests due to a detonation that killed a civilian, hundreds of acres of la Isla Nena are stilled polluted. Terrains are contaminated with undetonated munitions and bombs, as well as with toxic chemicals.

PR-SPAN participation in the ACS Science Advocacy Workshop

Melissa Cristina Ortiz Rosario's picture

On January 30 and 31 of 2019 the American Chemical Society, Puerto Rico Chapter (ACS-PR) held its first science advocacy workshop in the Capitol building of the Puerto Rico legislature. Approximately 30 scientists and students participated in this event, meant to help the chemistry community in Puerto Rico be more effective science advocates.

US federal government response to the hurricanes was larger and faster in Texas and Florida than in Puerto Rico.

Carlos De Leon's picture

Researchers from the Department of Health Management and Policy from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in collaboration with the Department of Political Science from the University of Utah published a study quantifying and comparing the US federal disaster response to the 2017 hurricanes that affected Texas (Harvey), Florida (Irma) and Puerto Rico (Maria). They analyzed the response during the first 6 months after the hurricanes made landfall in the study published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal BMJ Global Health.

Study of the National Academy of Sciences proposes / demonstrates the feasibility of alternative methods to deactivate or confiscate free air or detonation munitions.

Luis Alexis Rodríguez Cruz's picture

Legislative Body: 

US Senate

The report highlights the feasibility of new technologies to deactivate ammunition, which could reduce risks to public health and the environment compared to the frequently used method of

Science before, during and after the government shutdown

Flavia A Tejeda's picture

On December 22, the federal government of the United States suffered a partial closure which lasted for 35 days, resulting in the longest governmental closure in history. This closure, the result of a budget dispute between the President and the House of Representatives, affected more than a quarter of the US government agencies. Among the affected agencies, directly and indirectly, were leading research agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Increasing Concerns About Appointments to the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics

Carlos De Leon's picture

The Puerto Rico Science Policy Action Network (PR-SPAN) and CienciaPR, the largest network of Puerto Rican scientists in the world, is echoing the concerns expressed by the American Statistical Association and the Association of Economists of Puerto Rico about recent appointments to the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics and how these threaten the autonomy and integrity of the agency.

PR-SPAN Ambassadors in action: Climate Change and the onslaught of Hurricane María

Flavia A Tejeda's picture

During the past months, ambassadors of the PR-SPAN have been part of important investigations that reflect the current climate state, effects of climate change and the impacts of atmospheric phenomena inside and outside of Puerto Rico. Last November, the United States Congress published the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), a report on climate change in the United States and its territories. Isabel K. Parés-Ramos, environmental scientist and PR-SPAN ambassador, was part of the group of researchers who led the chapter on Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

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