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Posts Tagged ‘political interference in science’

Science, Religion, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, it’s worth reflecting on the philosophies of the Civil Rights Movement’s most well-known leader. And it’s fascinating to me that the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a lot to say about science. Read More

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As Obama Administration Folds on Emergency Contraception, A Full Timeline of Events

The Obama administration yesterday dropped its appeal of a judge’s order to follow the science and allow consumers full over the counter access to the emergency contraception known as Plan B. I never thought I’ve be invoking Kenny Rogers in a blog post, but somehow it now seems to fit: you gotta know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold ‘em.The Obama administration should have folded long ago; for reasons unknown, it chose to stay in the game. In the process, it earned a serious black eye. Read More

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Appeals Court Rules Emergency Contraception Should Become Available Over The Counter

I’m at a conference this week but wanted to pass along some pretty big news on the Plan B emergency contraception saga, which keeps getting more and more strange. Read More

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A Roundup of Editorials Criticizing President Obama’s Plan B Emergency Contraception Decision

On Tuesday, District Court Judge Edward Korman spoke incredibly strongly against the Obama administration’s decision to appeal his order that would require the Food and Drug Administration to use science to determine whether over the counter access to emergency contraception is safe for women of all ages. Read More

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A Dangerous Approach: Lawmaker Proposes Changes to How the National Science Foundation Funds Science

The targeting of specific government grants has become old hat in Washington DC, an easy way to score cheap political points. Targets have included fruit fly research in Paris, studies of duck genitalia, and research involving shrimp on a treadmill, but in all cases, further investigation has shown that the seemingly odd projects have direct ties to real-world applications. These skirmishes have now escalated into power grabs that serve to undermine entire fields of research. Read More

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Duped Again on Emergency Contraception

I feel like Charlie Brown.

A few weeks ago, I celebrated as a federal judge ordered the FDA to follow the medical evidence and make the emergency contraception known as “Plan B” available over the counter without restrictions. Under both President Obama and his predecessor, the decision had been thoroughly politicized. I thought that the judge’s ruling would provide the Obama administration with political cover. Surely they would respect the decision. Read More

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Following Science, Judge Orders Over-the-Counter Access to Emergency Contraception drug Plan B

Chalk up a win for science. Federal Judge Edward Korman today ordered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make “Plan B” emergency contraception available to women of all ages without a prescription, calling efforts to stop the FDA from doing so “arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable.”

A federal judge has accomplished what two administrations failed to do: make a decision about access to a drug based on medical evidence. It’s just common sense for the government to make drug approval and access decisions solely based on the best available science, not on hunches or political calculations. The decision brings a decade of politics trumping science to an end.  Read More

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Restrictions on Gun Violence Research Are on the White House’s Radar

Since I last wrote about the need to end federal restrictions on gun violence research, the chorus calling for such a move has become larger and significantly louder. Read More

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Science, Guns, and Democracy

Slate.com is using crowdsourcing to tally the deaths from gun violence since the December 14 Newtown shooting. It’s an interesting approach, and makes clear that people are hungry for data about this issue. To reduce gun violence in the United States, we need good scientific research that points us in the right direction. But as I outlined today in an opinion piece on CNN.com, Congress continues to work to prevent government research related to firearms.  Read More

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EPA, Following Clean Air Act, Sets Soot Pollution Standards Based on Science

The Environmental Protection Agency will revise the air pollution standard for particulate matter today to be in line with the best available science, reports the Washington Post. Particulate matter is the primary component of soot. It is encouraging to see the agency following the Clean Air Act, especially in the face of strong industry pressure to ignore science again. Read More

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