John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
Science Category

314 Action Endorses John Mack for Newtown Supervisor

In a tweet to over 15,000 followers, the grassroots STEM advocacy group 314 Action endorsed several 2019 local election candidates including John Mack for Newtown Township Supervisor.

"One of the best ways to stop the attacks on science is to send more people to Congress and local offices who have spent their careers working in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields," says 314 Action. "We need leaders who aren't afraid of data, who won't shy away from the facts and who will base policy on evidence."

As a citizen and someone with degrees in chemistry and biochemistry, I am concerned about chemicals in our environment whether they are contaminants in our water and air or addictive drugs.

I have made it a goal to do all I can to keep the public informed about these and other issues and, especially, to do whatever is possible to fight the current Opioid epidemic. Through my efforts, for example, the Township now offers a 24/7 drop-off program for unused prescription and other drugs (read "My Case for a 24/7 Drug Drop-Off Box" and "Newtown Has a 24/7 Drug Drop Box"). I also voted to hold major producers and distributors of opioids accountable for the current opioid epidemic that has taken the lives of over 400,000 people in recent years (read "Newtown Township Files Suit Against Opioid Manufacturers and Distributors").

I was a strong supporter of the anti-fracking resolution enacted by the Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS) in March, 2018 (read “Newtown Township Supports a Complete & Permanent Ban on Fracking and Related Activities”). This resolution called upon the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to “enact a complete and permanent ban on natural gas development and hydraulic fracturing and all related activities.” When I learned that the resolution was not included in official comments to the DRBC due to an oversight by the previous Town Manager, I made it a point to summarize the major points of the resolution in person at the June 13, 2018, public meeting of the DRBC.

After the Newtown Artesian Water Company (NAWC) sent a letter to residents in February 2019, that PFAS were detected in Newtown's water supplies, I requested that Mr. Dan Angove, then NAWC Assistant Manager, to come before the BOS to report on the situation. Mr. Angove complied and presented the Q1 2019 test results at the May 8, 2019, Board of Supervisors public meeting (see the video here).

At that presentation, I asked Mr. Angove to explain the results in comparison to the Q4 results focusing on (1) how sampling is done, (2) when was sampling done, (3) were multiple samples collected & combined for the test? (4) what company did the testing, (5) how accurate is the test? I also confirmed that NAWC will be posting test results every quarter (read "Newtown Artesian Water Publishes Q3 2019 PFAS Test Results").

While some politicians without a STEM background claim that the science isn't there yet proving that PFAS are harmful, I compiled a list of studies that demonstrate pretty good evidence that certain PFAS PFAS can cause health effects in people (read "PFAS in Drinking Water: The Science Behind Minimum Risk Levels").

I support Newtown’s Resolution 2016-R-10, opposing the Elcon Toxic Waste incinerator and Resolution 2018-R-10, which goes further and calls upon the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to “enact a complete and permanent ban on natural gas development and hydraulic fracturing.

During the discussion before the BOS on March 13, 2019, I pointed out that the proposed “emission limits” in the recent PA DEP permit application were: nitrogen oxides – 23.4 tons per year; carbon monoxide – 36.6 tons per year; sulfur oxides – 24.2 tons per year; volatile organic compounds – 10.1 tons per year; particulate matter – 10.5 tons per year; for hydrochloric acid – 6.3 tons per year!

Those are the facts!

Posted on 30 Oct 2019, 01:44 - Category: Science

314 Action Endorses Local PA Candidates

314 Action, a nonprofit 501(c)4 that was founded by members of the STEM community, grassroots supporters and political activists who believe in science, has endorsed these scientists and other STEM leaders who will fight to protect science and stand up to climate deniers.

John Mack (Newtown, PA Township Supervisor) Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Martin Miller (West Norriton, PA Commissioner) Website | Facebook | Twitter

Herbert Riede (Meadville, PA City Council) Website | Facebook | Twitter

Christina VandePol (Chester County, PA Coroner) Website | Facebook



Posted on 23 Oct 2017, 01:12 - Category: Science

Elect a Scientist!

"I’m not a scientist, but…"

We’ve heard that line countless times from politicians over the years. They use it to avoid tough questions on environmental policy or as an excuse for inaction on climate change. Some even wear it as a badge of honor.

314 Action - the nations largest resource specifically created for scientists and STEM professionals seeking running for office - is trying to solve the problem of not having enough scientific voices in government to tackle problems like the impact of climate change, fracking, water quality issues, and the opioid addiction crisis.

These same issues are of concern to local municipalities, including Newtown Township. So, it makes sense to elect someone to the Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS) who DOES have a strong background in science - ME!

I have a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry from Franklin & Marshall College and Masters and MPhil Degrees in Biochemistry from Columbia University. I have also worked as a biomedical researcher at New York Veterans Administration/NYU and NY State Psychiatric Institute. 

My background makes me well qualified to evaluate environmental issues that come before the BOS from time time such as fracking, Newtown's water supply quality, hazardous waste disposal, and the current opioid dug addiction crisis. 

For the past 17 years I have been a leading voice in the pharmaceutical industry through my publications. More than 28,000 pharmceutical executives follow me on Twitter and read my newsletter (here) and blog (here), which the Wall Street Journal said is a "Must Read" blog for insiders.

If you are concerned about the above issues and want someone on the BOS who has the necessary qualifications to understand and communicate the science behind the issues AND to make decisions based on evidence, not politics, then please vote for me this November 7!

P.S. Also vote for scientists in the 2018 Congressional elections! Also consider supporting the efforts of 314 Action by making a donation here.

Posted on 28 Aug 2017, 01:55 - Category: Science

Why I Marched for Science

This is the speech I made at the April 22, 2017, March for Science in Doylestown, PA.
John Mack at March for Science
I am passionate about
applying science & facts
to solve problems.

My name is John Mack and I live in Newtown.

On Twitter I am known as PharmaGuy – that’s P-H-A-R-M-A, plus “Guy!” I PUBLISH a newsletter for the pharmaceutical industry. And I have a graduate degree in Biochemistry.

Every day we benefit from medicines and vaccines created by scientists who work in pharmaceutical and government-funded research laboratories.

We need to discover new drugs faster and defend efforts that make those drugs cheaper and more accessible to everyone.

In doing so, however, we also need to defend the scientific methods the drug industry uses to prove that medicines WORK.

A big part of that process is the Food and Drug Administration, which ensures that drugs are proven safe and effective through rigorous clinical trials.

Today the Food and Drug Administration and other science-based agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency are under attack by the current administration,

WHICH intends to increase SPENDING on the military and decrease SPENDING on these and other science-based agencies that help improve our lives.

We should not have to sacrifice science for security.

DEFUNDING science impacts us on a local level whether the issue is the quality of our air and water, fracking, opioid drug abuse, or the heroin epidemic.

We need leaders who believe in data and scientific evidence to help solve these problems.

More scientists must get involved in politics today just as Benjamin Franklin did during the American Revolutionary War.

There is a war being fought today – a war against science.

We must defend science in THIS war.

Marching together is a good first step.

But we must follow up by electing pro-science leaders and ensure that they rely on evidence, not beliefs, when making decisions about our health, our environment, and our general well-being.

Thank you for listening and may the Science be with you!

Posted on 20 Jul 2017, 5:56 - Category: Science

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