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Interior Department Updates Scientific Integrity Policy and Creates Handbook

The Department of the Interior came out late yesterday with the 3.0 version of its scientific integrity policy, along with a new handbook that describes how the policy will be implemented. The new materials are simplified, streamlined, and more clear, bringing the department once again to the front of the pack in the Obama administration’s quest to create strong scientific integrity standards within federal agencies and departments. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is expected to speak about the new policy in a keynote address today before the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

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FDA Head Speaks Up for Science

When President Obama asked Dr. Margaret Hamburg to head the Food and Drug Administration in 2009, he chose a seasoned scientist with a demonstrated passion for public health.  Read More

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Interfering in the Science: Congress Targets Sage Grouse Protections in Cromnibus Bill

Lately, we’ve seen Congress target many things: Science funding at NSF, school lunch, and the EPA’s ability to function, but I believe this is the first time I’ve seen Congress target a bird. Read More

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Canadian Unions to Bargain for Scientific Integrity Reform

As Canadian government scientists start bargaining for their next contract, they aren’t asking for more sick days or a sizable raise—they’re asking for scientific integrity protections, such as the ability to share their research regardless of the results. To put it simply, Canadian scientists are prioritizing the public interest over their own self-interest.  Read More

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EPA Relaxes the Leash on Independent Science Advisors

The EPA has taken steps to reaffirm the free speech rights of independent scientists who advise the agency, backing away from a memorandum that invited criticism from science and journalism groups late this summer. A clarification of EPA policy has been sent to scientists on the EPA Science Advisory Board and other agency committees that provide scientific analysis and advice and posted on the EPA website. Read More

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A Science-Based Ozone Standard At Last? The Obama Administration Releases Long-Awaited Draft Rules

The regulation of ozone pollution has had a complicated history in recent years, but today marks a potential turning point toward an ozone standard that protects public health. Read More

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Have Two Minutes? Call Congress, as the House is Voting on Whether to Paralyze the EPA

UPDATE, November 18, 6:30 PM (see below)

Today and tomorrow, the lame duck House of Representatives will vote on two disingenuous bills that would prevent the EPA from using the best available science to protect human health and the environment.

Please call your member of Congress and ask for a NO vote on the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act and the Secret Science Reform Act. More information and talking points are here. Read More

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Public Health Service Scientists Deserve Robust Whistleblower Protections

If you ever wanted Public Health Service scientists to have strong whistleblower rights, it would be now. In the face of an Ebola epidemic in West Africa, 65 PHS medical staffers have agreed to assist in combatting this frightening disease. Read More

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800+ Scientists Urge Greater Freedoms for Canadian Government Experts

New restrictions have made it difficult for scientists around the globe to collaborate with Canadian government scientists. In response, more than 800 scientists from 32 countries have signed a letter urging Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper to “remove excessive and burdensome restrictions and barriers to scientific communication and collaboration faced by Canadian government scientists.” The letter was published as an advertisement today in the Ottawa Citizen as part of the Government of Canada’s Science and Technology Week. Read More

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Remembering Rick Piltz, Scientific Integrity Advocate

Rick Piltz, founder of Climate Science Watch and revered whistleblower who exposed political interference in climate science, succumbed to cancer over the weekend. He took a brave and unusual path from civil servant to scientific integrity advocate and climate activist that inspired many of us. His memory will continue to motivate me and many others to work tirelessly for a better world where science more freely informs public policy. Read More

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