Michael Halpern

Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

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Michael Halpern is an expert on political interference in science and solutions to reduce suppression, manipulation, and distortion of government science. See Michael's full bio.

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Photo: Taber Andrew Bain/CC BY (Flickr)

Remembering Herb Needleman—The Hero Who Got Lead Out of Gasoline

Dr. Herb Needleman, a Pittsburgh pediatrician whose pioneering research into the toxic effects of lead on children led to the removal of lead from gasoline and other products, died last week at the age of 89. He was a tireless advocate for children’s health in the face of persistent attacks on his work and integrity from the lead industry. A decade ago, he showed up in my life in a pretty unexpected way. Read more >

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Lamar Smith and Selective Transparency: Why I’ll Be Livetweeting the EPA Scientific Integrity Stakeholder Meeting

For the past few years, the Environmental Protection Agency has held a meeting with outside groups to discuss its annual scientific integrity report. All kinds of organizations have attended in the past, from the American Chemistry Council (which represents chemical companies) to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which represents scientists) to the American Lung Association (which represents people who breathe). They’re all invited again to this year’s meeting on June 14. Read more >

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Department of Interior Censors USGS Press Release on Climate Change, Flooding, and Sea Level Rise

Late yesterday, the Washington Post reported that the United States Geological Survey deleted a sentence acknowledging the link between climate change and sea level rise from an official agency press release. The USGS describes itself as the sole science agency for the Department of Interior. UCS will today formally ask the department to investigate the deletion as a violation of departmental policy. Read more >

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The Regulatory Accountability Act Subverts Science and Must Be Stopped

Today, just four days after hundreds of thousands of people marched for science, the Senate introduced a bill that would substitute politics for scientific judgment in every decision the government makes about public health and the environment. If enacted, the legislation would cripple the government’s ability to effectively carry out laws that protect us, putting everyone at more risk, especially communities of color and low-income communities that are more exposed to threats. Read more >

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Scientific Integrity Policies Do Not Make Agencies the Fact Police

It is tempting to want to punish public officials for lying about established science. But the scientific integrity policies do not serve this function, and for good reason. Read more >

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