Factual Reporting: MOSTLY FACTUAL
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180
The Union of Concerned Scientists was founded in 1969 by faculty and students of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is a nonprofit science advocacy organization based in the United States. The UCS membership includes many private citizens in addition to professional scientists. Anne Kapuscinski, Sherman Fairchild Professor of sustainability science in the Environmental Studies Program at Dartmouth College, currently chairs the UCS Board of Directors.
According to their about page, the mission is “to use rigorous, independent science to solve our planet’s most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.”
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Funded by / Ownership
The UCS is a nonprofit organization that is funded through memberships & contributions, foundations, and gifts. Although they provide a yearly financial report it does not list their top donors. According to the MacArthur Foundation website, they have donated over 11 million dollars to UCS.
Analysis / Bias
The Union of Concerned Scientists is more of a political activist group than a scientific information resource. For example, UCS is pro-consensus on human-influenced climate change and often paints deniers in a negative light such as this: Mounting Impacts on Florida Will Make It Hard for Trump to Avoid Climate Change Talk at G7. This story is properly sourced to credible media outlets such as NPR and the Washington Post.
Scientifically, The UCS takes stances that most identify with the political left. For example, they support increased fuel efficiency standards and increased taxes on polluters. They advocate for renewable energy and nuclear power, however, they are cautious regarding the safety of nuclear energy. Other issues they support are limiting deforestation and preventing the US Government from interfering in science. Finally, they oppose animal cloning and have expressed concerns regarding GMOs. For example, as recently as 2019, they published misleading information regarding GMOs.
Failed Fact Checks
Overall, we rate the Union of Concerned Scientists Left-Center Biased based on political advocacy that aligns with liberal policy. We also rate them Mostly Factual in reporting rather than High due to occasionally publishing misleading information regarding GMOs. (D. Van Zandt 11/19/2016) Updated (08/14/2020)