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Social sciences/Economics/Business

Anne Jefferson is finding ways to address the human side of climate science and stormwater management. Stormwater runoff, which carries urban, agricultural and industrial pollutants into waterways, has devastating consequences for water quality and ecosystems. Climate change increases the volume and velocity of the runoff, worsening flooding and pollution. Concrete steps can be taken, yet “we are not doing nearly enough to manage urban runoff,” says Jefferson. Broader dialogue among scientists, policymakers and other stakeholders about stormwater issues and urban climate resilience is needed. In addition, Jefferson, an associate professor of geology at Kent State University, says social science should be used more often to assess people’s responses to programs and how this influences implementation.
President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement puts future generations at risk and leaves the nation without a plan to mitigate the impact of climate change on society, said Rush Holt, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, on June 1.
At a time when scientific findings are not trusted by the public, or popular with some policymakers, it is essential for federal agencies to remain vigilant against internal and external pressures to suppress or impede the use of science, experts said.