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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Michael's Latest Posts

Yes, We Can Defend Scientists from Harassment AND Increase Transparency

We’ve written extensively about the use of open records laws to harass scientists for the past couple years and encouraged governments, academic institutions, and journalists to address the challenge of balancing accountability and academic freedom. The issue has taken on a new dimension in recent weeks, as high profile releases have brought significant attention to the work of academics throughout the country. Will this prompt institutions to figure out better solutions? Read more >

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Remembering Jack Gibbons, Science Policy Titan

The first time I spoke with Jack Gibbons a decade ago, I’m afraid that I didn’t have enough of an appreciation of what he had accomplished. I was fairly new to the Union of Concerned Scientists and was told he might have some ideas for protecting government scientists from political interference in their work. Throughout the course of that first conversation, his advice was quite sound, but the history of the use of science in policy making that he gave me, combined with the long list of names he gave me whom I should contact, suggested that he would be a great person to have in our corner. Read more >

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Your Handy Guide to Attacks on How the Endangered Species Act Uses Science

Gut the science. That’s how this Congress intends to undermine our nation’s environmental and public health laws. Most of the action over the past few years has been in the House, but tomorrow, a Senate committee will consider eight bills that would hack away at the Endangered Species Act. This is the first Senate hearing on endangered species in years, so it’s worth taking a look at all of the ways that Congress is trying to make this insanely popular law ineffective without having the courage to scrap it.  Read more >

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Scientific Societies Fight Legislation Designed to “Advance Scientific Leadership” — the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act

Yep, that’s right. Several prominent scientific and academic societies have come out swinging against the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act, legislation that supporters say will promote cutting-edge research and advance scientific leadership. Why such strong opposition? Read more >

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Condemning Conversion Therapy is Supporting Science

Last night, the White House called for a ban on so-called “conversion therapy,” or attempts to change sexual orientation. This dangerous and sometimes life-destroying form of quackery has continued for too long. Bravo to the president for throwing his administration’s weight behind the evidence. The abhorrent practice needs to stop. Read more >

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