FAS Roundup – April 3, 2020

By April 3, 2020

Coronavirus Uncertainty Plagues the Experts, Too
“There are times when we have definitive answers, but science works in a probabilistic realm,” FAS President Ali Nouri tells Bloomberg about the difficulties of communicating science to the general public, and how to overcome them.

When Science Speaks
Discussing the coronavirus outbreak, FAS President Ali Nouri tells Mark Bayer “We need to do more than dispel disinformation, we also need to actively push that factual information on social media.” Listen to the full podcast episode here.

A discussion regarding whether the COVID-19 virus is airborne
We’ve added a summary of a new paper to our Coronavirus resource page, about the possibility and response of an airborne COVID-19 virus. “Under experimental conditions, researchers found that the COVID-19 virus stayed viable in the air for three hours. The researchers estimate that in most real-world situations, the virus would remain suspended in the air for about 30 minutes, before settling onto surfaces.”

Ask A Scientist
We’ve been updating our “Ask A Scientist” tool non-stop. This week, we’ve uploaded dozens of new answers the public’s questions on the novel coronavirus. If you’re interested in putting Ask A Scientist on your website, or volunteering with our network of scientists to answer questions, reach out to covid19@fas.org

Pentagon Asks to Keep Future Spending Secret
Read the latest from Government Secrecy Project Director Steven Aftergood, the Department of Defense is “quietly asking Congress to rescind the requirement to produce an unclassified version of the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) database.”

It’s not just undocumented immigrants who could be left out of the stimulus money
“If you’re a U.S. citizen with a Social Security number but on your tax return you’ve got a spouse or a kid and they’re undocumented, then nobody in that household is going to get a check,” Technology and Innovation Project Director Doug Rand tells Marketplace.

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