GCSE Essays

Essays provide a deeper look into topics trending across the environmental and scientific communities. Essays are authored by members of the GCSE community.

Science Serves in 2020 and Beyond

December, 2020

  “...this global pandemic has paved the way to the inevitable realization that the development of a supportive environment towards promoting scientific culture and temperament is essential towards tackling such pandemics in the future. And towards meeting these ends, policymakers globally have to prioritize the promotion of a better scientific environment and practice...” [1]

The Value of Expanding Drawdown Research Experiences: A Reflection From the NCSE Drawdown USA Scholars

December, 2020

During the summer of 2019, we had the opportunity to participate in the inaugural Drawdown Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) along with fifty other undergraduates from across the country. The Drawdown Scholars REU is a summer-long program hosted jointly by Penn State and Project Drowdown in which undergraduates from universities across the country come to Penn State to conduct research relevant to Project Drawdown’s plan to reverse global warming.

The World Health Organization’s Role in Combatting the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Brief Overview

November, 2020

NCSE prepared a policy paper to assess WHO’s current role in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to provide policymakers and the public with an objective appraisal of WHO’s outreach activities and ongoing interactions with representatives of member states, the news media, civil society organizations, and the public.

Remembering Mario J. Molina: A Brief Tribute to a Truly Great Public-Spirited Scientist

October, 2020

Dr. Mario J. Molina, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995 for work on chlorofluorocarbons and their impacts on the ozone layer, passed away October 7, 2020. NCSE was honored to have Dr. Molina and Dr.

Can Community Colleges Be a Force for a Future Transformed?

September, 2020

A discussion with community college leaders: Maria Boccalandro, Dallas College (formerly the Dallas County Community College District); Bob Franco, Kapi’olani Community College; Robert Rak, Bristol Community College; Stephen Summers, Seminole State College; and Nancy Lee Wood, Bristol Community College.

Climate, COVID-19, and Education: Building a Nation of Problem Solvers

May, 2020

The word pandemic comes from Greek and means “all people.” It’s an epidemic on steroids, spreading quickly across a wide geographic range and affecting a significant portion of the population. The novel coronavirus is fast-moving, highly contagious, and deadly.

A Personal Reflection from Generation Z: Climate and COVID-19

May, 2020

We are living in unprecedented times and I know that many share my feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. As someone invested in the future of our planet, these feelings are ones I have experienced before. To me, pandemic anxiety feels similar to climate anxiety. My anxiety is seeded with guilt because I recognize that I am in a privileged position and am less likely to be harmed by these global threats.

Our Future on Earth 2020: Uncovering the Linkages Among Global Risks

April, 2020

A bit of genetic material that skipped from animal to human, and from local market to international stage in a matter of weeks, is now a concern in every single health, social, and economic sphere around the world. If nothing else, the coronavirus pandemic perfectly illustrates the complex, interlinked challenges we face in 2020. 

How Youth Are Reinvigorating the Environmental Movement

March, 2020

A half century ago, the United States faced a collective crisis: rivers caught fire, oil spills covered swaths of ocean, and injustice and inequality pervaded every corner of America. Faced with these challenges, we discovered the power of a united front. We broke down barriers and came together to fight for a more just, sustainable future, shattering the status quo.

Listen to This: Science Communications Through Podcasting

February, 2020

Have you wondered what is the most important thing you can do to fight climate change? Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist in the Department of Political Science at Texas Tech University, has the answer—talk about it. In fact, Dr.

Science Forward: The Lasting Strength of Science Policy in Today’s New Normal

January, 2020

Scientific research has always been the backbone of environmental policymaking. And the interchange between science and policy is critical...the only way to preserve life as we know it. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, arguably the single most impactful environmental regulation in U.S. history. By 1990 it was saving 160,000 lives per year, projected to rise to 230,000 in 2020.

Taking Science to Action: The Evolution of Modern Academic Programs in Environment and Sustainability

December, 2019

The National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) has played a seminal role in the evolution of the environmental and sustainability fields within the academic community and how the results of scholarship and training impact the decisions we make in society.

The RISE Network: Towards a New Framework for University Interventions in Disasters

November, 2019

In the era of climate change—where the frequency of extreme weather and disaster events is increasing and social inequality magnifies their impact—universities are acting as first responders without being designed or organized to serve in this role. Immediately after major events such as Hurricane Maria’s catastrophic impact on Puerto Rico two years ago, universities have mobilized their communities to send support.

Harnessing Specialized Knowledge to Respond to a Rapidly Changing Arctic

October, 2019

In the 1970s, the International Whaling Commission’s scientists met at the University of Cambridge to consider the status of the world’s whale populations. For over 700 years, Cambridge had been a major force in establishing science as a powerful tool for understanding the world and informing public policies. The university also established academic and social traditions that are held with great tenacity.

Science in Environmental Decision-Making: The Enduring Mission of the National Council for Science and the Environment

September, 2019

In 2020, the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its founding. This hallmark event presents the opportunity to revisit the founding ideals and goals that have guided and shaped the NCSE mission and to reaffirm the validity of those ideals and goals. NCSE was established in 1990 and was known as the Committee for the National Institutes of the Environment (CNIE) at that time. We had a simple, straightforward goal: from its inception, CNIE was formed as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a mission to have the U.S.