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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Energy Secretary Rick Perry should affirm that the government is in the business of uncovering the truth, not covering it up. Photo: Wikimedia

8 Simple Words Energy Secretary Rick Perry Can Say Right Now to Reaffirm that Scientists Won’t Be Muzzled

Late Tuesday afternoon, Politico reported that some managers at the Department of Energy (DOE) orally instructed employees in the department’s Office of International Climate and Clean Energy not to use phrases such as “climate change” or “emissions reduction” in official communications. The department denied that any words or phrases had been banned. In the current political context, there are steps the administration should take to clear up the confusion that these allegations create. Read more >

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Marginalizing Transgender Students Weakens Science and Diminishes America

Yesterday, the Trump administration turned back the clock on civil rights by giving schools more rights to discriminate against and bully transgender kids, some of the most vulnerable people in our society. The New York Times reports that the withdrawal of protections for transgender students comes at the behest of Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the objections of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Read more >

Photo: WatchTheFlash_Photography
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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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