53 petitions

Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Paul Ryan

Restore Science & Tech Advice to Government

Science and technology underpin many of the most important issues facing society today — and, therefore, many of the most critical legislative decisions before Congress. Legislators ought to consider the best evidence surrounding the issue they are legislating and adequately understand the technical implications of their decisions. This is not at all a partisan issue; it goes to core of our democracy.  The recent hearings concerning data privacy serve as an example. While it is impossible for policymakers to be expert in all areas they consider, there is clearly a material gap in technical literacy that needs to be filled in order for government to legislate effectively. We've been here before: Congress established the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) in 1972 to provide its members with objective and authoritative analysis of the complex scientific and technical issues of the late 20th century. (Wikipedia) But: The OTA was shut down in 1995. The move was criticized at the time, including by Republican representative Amo Houghton, who commented that "we are cutting off one of the most important arms of Congress when we cut off unbiased knowledge about science and technology." (Wikipedia) There is widespread support for the re-establishment of the OTA. The time is now for soon-to-be-departing Speaker Ryan to act. Congress should establish a new, modern, non-partisan science and technology advisory apparatus at this most critical moment for democracy in the United States.

Adam Bly
13,422 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to COFEPRIS , Mexican Government

Stop inhumane actions towards Axolotls

According to Google, "Axolotls are probably one of the most scientifically studied salamanders in the world. ... Nowadays, it is extinct in the wild because of the pollution and urban sprawl that threaten its habitat in the Mexican Basin." Axolotls now rely more than ever on humans to keep them alive in captivity. This can lead to genetic inbreeding and deformations in their family tree so we have to act fast. Being a proud 12-year-old owner of an Axolotl, I can tell you this is bad. Axolotls are key to scientific advances. For those of you who don't know about these amazing creatures, here's a quick science lesson; Axolotls have the fastest regeneration in the world, and arguably the best, being able to regenerate portions of their spinal cord. This is performed when the section of limb that is cut off gets the cells surrounding it replaced with stem cells. These stem cells gradually build up, giving identity to the ones that follow behind it (muscle, nervous, etc.) While human bones produce vast amounts of stem cell each day, first, we have trouble harvesting it because the body needs them to perform normal functions, and even if we could, they are not as expendable and valuable as embryonic stem cells (the type of stem cells Axolotls produce.) The type of stem cells that can be found in the umbilical cord. Fun fact, we do actually harvest these! Institutions called cord-blood banking are specifically designed for this! But sadly, these institutions are private and we only have one umbilical cord per human, plus most are not willing to give up something that valuable. So, if we could find a way to use technology like CRISPER, and mass produce stem cells like Axolotls do without harming them, people that usually cannot get medical treatment for injuries that would need costly prosthetics can now just ask for a new leg and get one! weird right? But the sad truth is, The Mexican Government readily denies the existence of these cute things in order to build over there homes, pollute their rivers, and even eat them as a delicacy! So in order to allow Axolotls help save the future, we have to help them first. This is why I am making this petition to send to the Mexican government to (hopefully) ban pollution of Axolotl habitats, clean up the rivers where they live, and message the equivalent of the Mexican FDA to stop all consumption of Axolotls to benefit the common good. Besides, if you aren't into cool scienc-ey stuff, they are SUPER cute. But hey, I'm Only 12. =)  

lani freeman
311 supporters