About the American Council on Science and Health
The American Council on Science and Health is a pro-science consumer advocacy organization and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The Council was founded in 1978 by a group of scientists with a singular focus: to publicly support evidence-based science and medicine and to debunk junk science and exaggerated health scares.
ACSH was created to be the science alternative to “news” that is often little more than hype based on exaggerated findings. We help policymakers see past scaremongers and activist groups who have targeted GMOs, vaccines, conventional agriculture, nuclear power, natural gas, and “chemicals,” while peddling health scares and fad diets. We fight back against activists who have attacked the credibility of the overwhelming consensus of academic and private sector scientists who dispute their claims, undermining the integrity of the scientific enterprise.
You may be here because you have decided it's time to fight back. We agree. The Council’s primary aim is to inform the public and policymakers of good science while debunking the junk. We serve as trusted guides in a cultural landscape that too often provides confusing and contradictory information.
We are not a trade association. We do not represent any industry.
The Billion Dollar Problem Science In America Faces
Anti-science groups determined to undermine American dominance routinely insist the pro-science community is composed of "industry front groups." Political cabals from Sourcewatch to Greenpeace appeal to their financial base by promoting belief in a vast science conspiracy secretly funded by corporations to harm the planet for profit. Yet when pressed for evidence, they simply link to each other repeating the same claims. Financial reality shows the real industry wealth is on their side. While anti-science activism generates over a billion dollars per year, we are 1/500th of that, and only 4 percent of our budget is from corporations, far less corporate money than Environmental Working Group, NRDC or hundreds of other groups receive.
We have challenged these claims by recommending that groups who believe science is a corporate conspiracy send us a donation to see if it impacts our work. To date, no partisan journalist or denier for hire has accepted the challenge.
The Council has a long and successful track record. We warned the public of the dangers of smoking, and we were the driving force behind seatbelt laws and bike helmets that save children. Famously, when NRDC manufactured the “alar on apples” pesticide scare, we showed it to be exaggerated hype manufactured with the help of a public relations firm. Our warnings about “chemophobia” were portrayed in the ground-breaking documentary Big Fears, Little Risks, narrated by Walter Cronkite. Our science publications have informed key policymakers for decades. When media physician Dr. Oz continued to foist off "miracle" foods and supplements on the public, Council friends and members spearheaded the letter to Columbia University demanding he be removed from their faculty, which got nationwide attention. Our testimony before FDA about missteps in the war on pain addiction made "fentanyl" part of the national lexicon.
We employ a full-time staff of Ph.D.s and M.D.s. Supporting our work is a nucleus of 300 physicians, scientists, and policy experts in areas from toxicology to fruit fly research to conservation who make up our Board of Scientific Advisors. They peer review the Council’s reports and participate in our seminars, media communications, and other educational activities.
The Council accomplishes its goals by producing a wide range of publications, including peer-reviewed white papers and books on health and environmental topics: we write news articles on this site, which are also sent out in a daily Dispatch newsletter, and we frequently write for international media and America's top newspapers; we appear regularly on television and radio; we advise policymakers in legislative and regulatory hearings; and we engage in public debates. Additionally, The Council hosts press conferences and provides an in-house internship program for students in the health sciences.
What People Have Said About Us
“ACSH knows the difference between a health scare and a health threat.”
– The Wall Street Journal
“By increasing our understanding of complex issues, you help Americans make sound decisions about their well-being and influence public policy.”
– George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States
“ACSH brings to the table good common sense about food and health.”
– Julia Child
“Putting health risks in proper perspective – and educating journalists, legislators, and others about them – is what the American Council on Science and Health is all about.”
– Steve Forbes
"Thank you for the important work you do. I wish you continued success."
– Ben Carson, M.D., Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
“ACSH fights the worry. With the help of ACSH, we don’t have to worry about political threats to our health”
– P.J. O’Rourke
“When scares cross my desk, I often turn to the American Council on Science and Health."
– John Stossel
"Thank you ACSH for being on the side of sound science and true compassion in your work on opioid policy. Also, thanks for helping me spread the message that we, as a country, can and must do much better."
– Vanila Singh, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS
"Keep up the fearless, unbiased, evidence-based scientific investigational reporting and outreach. More science, less fiction!"
– Barb Zedler, M.D.
Why donate to ACSH?
We cannot accomplish our critical work without your financial support. If you believe that evidence-based science and medicine, responsible stewardship of nature without penalizing the poor, sensible health advice, technological progress, and consumer freedom need protection from the nonstop assault of unscientific activist groups, then please consider donating to us.
Your tax-deductible gift would go to work instantly in promoting a pro-science, pro-technology, and pro-free market approach to some of the most important issues facing our society. Together, we can make our world a better place.
Click here to donate by credit card.
Download an introductory brochure here.