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

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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The House Science Committee’s Witch Hunt Against NOAA Scientists

We have long been suspicious of the House Science Committee’s expanded subpoena power. The evidence now demonstrates that the committee is using this new authority not to conduct effective oversight but to harass those who produce robust scientific analysis it refuses to accept. Read more >

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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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