As Economic Concerns Recede, Environmental Protection Rises on the Public’s Policy Agenda

As Economic Concerns Recede, Environmental Protection Rises on the Public’s Policy Agenda. Pew Research Center. February 13, 2020

Partisan gap on dealing with climate change gets even wider

Reflecting a strong U.S. economy, Americans’ policy priorities have changed in recent years. The public now places less priority on economic and job concerns than it did just a few years ago. At the same time, environmental protection and global climate change are rising on the public’s agenda for the president and Congress.
For the first time in Pew Research Center surveys dating back nearly two decades, nearly as many Americans say protecting the environment should be a top policy priority (64%) as say this about strengthening the economy (67%). [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 27 pages].

The Data Driving Democracy: Understanding How the Internet Is Transforming Politics and Civic Engagement

The Data Driving Democracy: Understanding How the Internet Is Transforming Politics and Civic Engagement. American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Christina Couch. February 2020.

This report outlines the data and methodologies researchers use to understand how the Internet has impacted democracy and the challenges they face in this field. The report summarizes key insights from interviews with fifteen experts from a broad array of computer science, data analysis, media studies, legal, and political science backgrounds. It specifically examines the data and research methodologies experts use to study how the Internet is changing democracy, the types of inferences that can (and can’t) be drawn with current resources, and barriers in this field. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 52 pages].

Amid Coronavirus Threat, Americans Generally Have a High Level of Trust in Medical Doctors

Amid Coronavirus Threat, Americans Generally Have a High Level of Trust in Medical Doctors. Pew Research Center. Cary Funk and John Gramlich. March 13, 2020.

The spread of the new coronavirus in the United States comes at a time of low public trust in key institutions. Only around a third of U.S. adults (35%) have a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in elected officials to act in the public’s best interests, and fewer than half say the same about business leaders (46%) and the news media (47%), according to a January 2019 Pew Research Center survey.

A majority of U.S. adults say medical doctors care about their patients’ interests all or most of the time. Public attitudes are substantially more positive when it comes to another set of participants in the unfolding coronavirus threat: doctors and medical research scientists. In the same survey, 74% of Americans said they had a mostly positive view of medical doctors, while 68% had a mostly favorable view of medical research scientists – defined as those who “conduct research to investigate human diseases and test methods to prevent and treat them.” [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Emerging Developments in Citizen Science: Reflecting on Areas of Innovation

Emerging Developments in Citizen Science: Reflecting on Areas of Innovation. RAND Corporation. Brandi Leach et al. February 16, 2020

Citizen science — an approach whereby citizens actively contribute to the generation of knowledge about important research questions — is gaining increased attention in research and policy communities. Recent years have seen an expansion in the scale of citizen science activity globally, as well as an increase in the diversity of ways in which citizens can contribute to research endeavours. This report, informed by a literature review and interviews with selected experts, explores key areas of innovation and emerging and topical issues in citizen science, with a particular but not exclusive interest in healthcare related applications. More specifically, the report explores innovation related to new areas of applications of citizen science; novel methods of data gathering and analysis; innovative approaches to recruiting, retaining and enabling participation in citizen science projects; and building capacity for citizen science. The report also considers emerging themes and topical issues within the field and their implications. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 45 pages].

NATO Seen Favorably Across Member States

NATO Seen Favorably Across Member States. Pew Research Center. Moira Fagan and Jacob Poushter. February 9, 2020

NATO is generally seen in a positive light across publics within the alliance, despite lingering tensions between the leaders of individual member countries. A median of 53% across 16 member countries surveyed have a favorable view of the organization, with only 27% expressing a negative view. But opinions of NATO and related issues vary widely across the countries surveyed, especially regarding the obligations of Article 5 of the 75-year-old treaty, which declares that an attack against one member nation is considered an attack against all members. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 29 pages].

U.S. Has Changed In Key Ways In The Past Decade, From Tech Use To Demographics

U.S. Has Changed In Key Ways In The Past Decade, From Tech Use To Demographics. Pew Research Center.  Katherine Schaeffer. December 20, 2019

The past decade in the United States has seen technological advancements, demographic shifts and major changes in public opinion. Pew Research Center has tracked these developments through surveys, demographic analyses and other research. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Women & Equality

Women & Equality. Daedalus.  Winter 2020

One hundred years ago, the United States ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, granting women the right to vote. The publication of the Winter 2020 issue of Dædalus “Women & Equality,” guest edited by Nannerl O. Keohane (Academy Member; Princeton University; Stanford University) and Frances McCall Rosenbluth (Academy Member; Yale University), at the centennial is a celebration of this victory for women’s rights. Yet while the inclusion of women in the electorate was a momentous occasion, it notably left behind most Black women, and while women have made incredible strides toward equality since, there is still a long way to go. This collection of essays, which is only the third to explore this topic in Dædalus’s sixty-five-year history, therefore is not only a celebration of the accomplishments of women around the world toward equality, it is also an invitation to further reflection and a call to action, assessing remaining obstacles and pointing a way toward workable solutions. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 256 pages].

The Democracy Playbook: Preventing and Reversing Democratic Backsliding

The Democracy Playbook: Preventing and Reversing Democratic Backsliding. Brookings Institution. Norman Eisen et al. November 2019

The Democracy Playbook sets forth strategies and actions that supporters of liberal democracy can implement to halt and reverse democratic backsliding and make democratic institutions work more effectively for citizens. The strategies are deeply rooted in the evidence: what the scholarship and practice of democracy teach us about what does and does not work. We hope that diverse groups and individuals will find the syntheses herein useful as they design catered, context-specific strategies for contesting and resisting the illiberal toolkit. This playbook is organized into two principal sections: one dealing with actions that domestic actors can take within democracies, including retrenching ones, and the second section addressing the role of international actors in supporting and empowering pro-democracy actors on the ground. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 100 pages].

Tax Issues Relating to Charitable Contributions and Organizations

Tax Issues Relating to Charitable Contributions and Organizations. Congressional Research Service. Jane G. Gravelle, Donald J. Marples, Molly F. Sherlock. September 19, 2019

The federal government supports the charitable sector by providing charitable organizations and donors with favorable tax treatment. Individuals itemizing deductions may claim a tax deduction for charitable contributions. Estates can make charitable bequests. Corporations can deduct charitable contributions before computing income taxes. Further, earnings on funds held by charitable organizations and used for a related charitable purpose are exempt from tax. In FY2019, projected tax subsidies for charities, not including the value of the tax exemption on earnings of charities or the estate tax deduction, totaled $51.8 billion. If investment income of nonprofits were taxed at the 35% corporate tax rate in 2015, revenue collected is estimated at $26.7 billion (this amount excludes religious organizations). The cost of deducting bequests on estates is estimated at $4 billion to $5 billion.

[PDF format, 52 pages].