Michael Halpern

Program manager, 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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Is a Study of Trucker Health Really Government Waste?

Oklahoma Senator James Lankford earlier this week published a long report called “Federal Fumbles” detailing projects that he considers government waste. Corny football analogies aside, some of the projects described in the report do indeed seem excessive at first glance.

Unfortunately, the senator criticized a number of research grants without even bothering to contact the primary investigators involved in the studies. Let’s take a $2.6 million, 4-year study that tracks efforts to stem trucker obesity (page 17) run by Dr. Ryan Olson at Oregon Health & Sciences University. Read more >

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Chairman Smith Backs Off on Demands for NOAA Scientists’ Emails – For Now

House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith’s investigation into the work of NOAA scientists took a new turn Tuesday when he temporarily limited the scope of his demands for communications related to an important global warming study.

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Questioning House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith’s Claims of NOAA Misconduct

For several months, House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith has been unable to justify his investigation into the work of NOAA climate scientists whose research finds that global warming has not slowed in recent years. Yesterday, in a letter to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Smith offered up an explanation: there are “whistleblowers” working with his office who contend that NOAA rushed the study to publication. Read more >

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Refugees are LESS Likely to Be Terrorists, and Xenophobia Hurts Democracy

The decision on whether and on what conditions to accept refugees is a policy one. But that decision should take into account evidence, and not be based on bombast or uninformed fear. The exclusion of an entire group of people based on religion or ethnicity or national origin cannot be justified by the evidence, is morally disgraceful and un-American, and ultimately plays into the hands of ISIS. Read more >

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American Meteorological Society Slams House Science Committee Witch Hunt

The American Meteorological Society today issued a strongly-worded letter condemning House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith’s ongoing harassment of government climate scientists. The letter is in response to a demand made by Chairman Smith under new, unilateral subpoena powers for all correspondence, notes and other materials from the last seven years related to the work of certain NOAA climate scientists. Read more >

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