Recap: Environmental Justice with Just Moms STL

When Karen Nickel’s parents moved to the banks of Coldwater Creek in Hazelwood, Missouri 20 miles northwest of St. Louis, they did not realize they were moving to an area contaminated by radioactive material. Karen later moved to nearby Maryland Heights, where she raised her own family in a house 1.5 miles from the West […]

Policy Memo: Prohibiting Unnecessary Use of Antibiotics in Food-Producing Animals

In April 2020, two teams of ProSPER members participated in the National Science Policy Network‘s policy memo competition. This is the memo by Ananya Benegal, Kevin Blake, and Lauren Koenig; the memo by Hannah Frye, Emilee Kotnik, and Rachel Rahn can be found here. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Antibiotics are the foundation of the modern healthcare system, […]

Policy Memo: Genetic Privacy Consumer Protections

In April 2020, two teams of ProSPER members participated in the National Science Policy Network‘s policy memo competition. This is the memo by Hannah Frye, Emilee Kotnik, and Rachel Rahn; the memo by Ananya Benegal, Kevin Blake, and Lauren Koenig can be found here. Executive summary Direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies have become increasingly popular in […]

Environmental Rollbacks in the Trump Era: Why we need serious policy interventions

A recent New York Times analysis reports that the Trump Administration is in the process of rolling back at least 95 different environmental laws and regulations. Many of these rollbacks target Obama- and even Clinton-era rules that were mandated to mitigate climate change and curb ecological pollution. Out of the 95 rollbacks, 58  have been […]

A Clear Choice Amid All the “Smoke”

Lung injuries associated with e-cigarettes, or vaping, have now surpassed 2200. By the end of July, fewer than 200 patients had been admitted for e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI). Although the explosion of cases arises partly from the growing awareness and diagnosis of EVALI, this outbreak indicates that the use of these […]

Federal Restrictions on Access to Fetal Tissue Threaten Medical Research

On June 5th, the Trump administration announced extreme restrictions on lifesaving medical research. Under the administration’s new policy, researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have been forced to halt any research that utilizes human fetal tissue acquired from elective abortions. Additionally, funding for this type of research has become far more difficult for scientists […]

Reflection: Health Disparities in St. Louis

There are many factors which can cause disparities in who has access to healthcare and the quality of the care they receive. To learn more about the specific issues facing St. Louis and how they are being addressed we invited Angela Brown, acting CEO of the St. Louis Regional Health Commission, Dr. Bettina Drake, Associate […]

Genetics, Genealogy, and Personal Privacy

On TV, DNA evidence is portrayed as a slam-dunk way to pin a suspect to a crime. But what if you have DNA, but no suspect? In April 2018, Joseph James DeAngelo, better known as the “Golden State Killer,” was arrested over 30 years after committing burglaries, rapes, and murders that terrorized Californians. This arrest was […]

CRISPR-edited Babies Scandal Highlights Inconsistent International Policy

On November 25, news broke that a Chinese scientist, Dr. He Jiankui, had allegedly produced the first CRISPR-edited babies, twin girls named Lulu and Nana. This set off a firestorm within the international scientific community. He has been accused of violating numerous scientific conventions, ethical safeguards, and the global consensus on human germline gene modification. The scandal has been described […]

Ballot Issue Breakdown: Missouri $12 Minimum Wage Increase Measures

The Missouri 2018 general election ballot will include Proposition B, a proposed state statue to change the minimum wage. Minimum wage changes are based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), a consumer price index that reports annual consumer prices. Currently, the minimum wage in Missouri is $7.85/hour while […]

Ballot Issue Breakdown: Missouri Cannabis Legalization Measures

In the 2018 midterm elections, voters in four states, including Missouri, will be faced with ballot measures to allow for the prescription and possession of medical cannabis. The ballot in Missouri for medical cannabis legalization is especially unique as three separate initiatives will be presented to voters: Missouri Amendment 2, Amendment 3, and Proposition C. […]

Ballot Issue Breakdown: Missouri Constitutional Amendment 1

Constitutional Amendment 1 has been called the “Clean Missouri” initiative and was put on the 2018 general election ballot with the support of 231,460 registered Missouri voters.3 Its purpose is to “clean up” Missouri political corruption to make politics more fair and less influenced by money and lobbyists. The amendment would accomplish this by changing […]

How to Register to Vote

In honor of National Voter Registration Week, we’ve compiled a list of resources for a quick and easy guide on how to register to vote in the US. How to Check if You’re Registered Go to the nonprofitvote website and select the state you think you might be registered in. The website will direct you […]

Primer: Vaccine Policy

The administration, distribution, and safety of vaccines are regulated through multiple federal agencies as well as through state-level statutes. Two main bodies oversee administration and safety of vaccines: the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee in the FDA (FDA VRBPAC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in the CDC (ACIP). The FDA VRBPAC […]

Puzzle Pieces

One of the most pressing tasks for scientists of any era is the reconciliation of research with the public good. This call must be answered both socially, by an understandable dialogue between academia and society, and cautiously, with a careful eye on the relevance of our work.  Socially, science speaks its own language. Today’s scientific […]

ProSPER Policy Watch: March 2018

H.R. 4316 – Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2017 Summary and Text In November of 2017, H.R. 4316 or the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2017 was introduced to the United States House of Representatives and is currently under review of the House Agriculture and House Appropriations committees. The current bill […]