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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Michael's Latest Posts

Real Scrutiny of Science and Scientists Goes Well Beyond FOIA

In today’s Boston Globe, reporter David Abel profiles our work to push back on those who harass scientists through open records laws. The Globe article helps prove the point that the Freedom of Information Act is inadequate to root out corruption within science while also protecting scientists from harassment. Read more >

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House Science Chairman Continues to Chart His Own Lonely Path on Climate Change

In a hearing today House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith questioned NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan on the agency’s climate change research. He made three claims that deserve additional scrutiny: that satellite data is “the most objective”; that a recent climate study was “prematurely published”; and that a recent Nature analysis proves that NOAA’s study was wrong. Read more >

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As NOAA Head Testifies in Congress, 90,000 Ask Science Committee Chairman to Stop Playing Politics With Science

Tomorrow, NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan will testify before the House Science Committee. It is possible that Rep. Lamar Smith, the committee’s chairman, will take the opportunity to ask her about his outstanding subpoena for correspondence among scientists who study climate change. Yesterday, UCS sent two letters—one from 1,595 scientists and one from 91,596 citizens—asking the chairman to rescind the subpoena. Read more >

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The Chair of the House Science Committee Is Harassing NOAA Climate Scientists Again

House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith has revived his misguided crusade against climate change scientists who work for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In a letter to NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan dated February 22, obtained by the Union of Concerned Scientists earlier this week, the chairman demands reams of deliberative materials among scientists related to their work. Read more >

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The Public Interest Lies in Promoting Transparency AND Protecting Scientists from Harassment

On Sunday, the New York Times published an op-ed from Paul Thacker, a former Senate staffer who is critical of UCS’s efforts to protect scientists from harassment. Unfortunately, he misrepresents our work, as he did previously in a PLOS Biology op-ed that was ultimately retracted (to our surprise, while we were corresponding with an editor about corrections to the piece). Read more >

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