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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One Way You Can Help Fight Against Political Interference in Science: Tell Us About It

Since Election Day and into the first weeks of the Trump presidency, we’ve heard a lot about “alternative facts” and clampdowns on the ability of scientists to present scientific evidence or speak to the press. Congress last week signaled its intent to neutralize the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal departments by cutting science out of the way they make policy. But together, we can raise the political price of manipulating science or censoring scientists by exposing these actions and publicly communicating their consequences for public health and the environment. Sometimes, this requires people within government or who are funded by government to speak up and share challenges that they experience or perceive. Read more >

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President Trump’s Attacks on Immigrants Impoverish Science and Weaken America

The severe and racist changes to immigration imposed on the United States by President Trump should be denounced and resisted by all who care about science and democracy.

Science thrives on diversity. Immigration is the foundation of America’s unparalleled scientific leadership. It also enriches our lives across the board, from culture and the arts to entrepreneurship to reducing the federal deficit. Read more >

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What to Expect—and Ways to Respond—as the Trump Administration Assumes Power

On Friday, Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. We are entering a time of significant uncertainty; it will be many weeks before the administration is fully staffed with lower-level political appointees. But there are several conclusions we can draw from the events of the past two months, and a number of actions to watch out for. Read more >

Photo: Tim Brown, IIP Photo Archive/CC-BY-NC 2.0, Flickr
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The Department of Energy Just Created a Powerful Tool to Protect its Scientists

It’s harder to create good science, and to follow the evidence where it leads, when your work can be easily corrupted by political meddling. The Department of Energy has significantly expanded protections for its scientific workforce, the majority of which work in America’s great national laboratories, by finalizing a significantly improved scientific integrity policy. Read more >

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Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury, “Galileo before the Holy Office” (1847)
Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury, “Galileo before the Holy Office” (1847)

The Inquisition Congress, Abetted by Trump, Has Begun

The increasingly reckless House of Representatives, caught up in a public mutiny, may have walked back its abandonment of congressional ethics. But it simultaneously took several other steps that will enable corruption and greatly expand political influence over the work of experts at NASA, NOAA, EPA, and other science agencies, compromising their ability to serve the public interest. Read more >

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