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Posts Tagged ‘Scientific Integrity’

Update: EPA Will Review Troublesome Communications Policy for Independent Science Advisory Board

Last week, UCS joined other science and journalism organizations in a letter to the EPA expressing concern about how a new policy might limit the ability of independent scientists who advise the agency to speak publicly about their scientific research and opinions in a personal capacity, particularly the scientists who serve on its Science Advisory Board. Read More

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Is EPA Excessively Restricting Access to its Science Advisory Board Members?

UCS learned recently that at a closed-door meeting of the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) on July 24, the EPA put forward a new memorandum from EPA Chief of Staff Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming that seems to extend free speech restrictions to independent scientists who advise the agency. The memo is written in a way that could discourage scientists from informing public discussion around important topics. Read More

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Three Major Mistakes the House Science Committee Chairman Made in the Wall Street Journal

Yesterday, the House Science Committee approved the Secret Science Reform Act on a party line vote.  The bill purports to provide full access to the scientific basis for EPA decision making, but in fact it is a sham call for government transparency when its effect is nothing of the kind. On the contrary, numerous open government groups, including UCS,  have raised concerns about the legislation. Read More

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After Doubling Down on Scientific Integrity, EPA Ditches Its Science Advisor

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has ditched her science advisor, Glenn Paulson. The move came the day after she gave a major address at the National Academies of Science, telling the audience that “[t]he work we do together to preserve the integrity of our science is as critical as ever.” Dr. Paulson’s departure from this position is a loss for the agency, and the position should be filled quickly to ensure that progress on scientific integrity can continue. Read More

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Sometimes the Good Guys Win: Unmasking “Company Doe”

Last week a federal district appeals court issued a decision that is a victory for scientific integrity, transparency,  and consumer protection. Read More

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Science, Democracy and a Healthy Food Environment

There is a clear connection between diet and major diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, osteoporosis, and dental cavities. So, I keep asking—why doesn’t the science of public health undergird food policy in the U.S.? Read More

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The Secret Science Reform Act: Perhaps We Should Just Call it Catch-22

Fifty years ago, the great American novelist Joseph Heller was in the midst of writing Catch-22, creating an enduring story and coining a phrase that has become part of our language.  According to Merriam-Webster, Catch-22 means “a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule.”  When I read the book years ago, I remember thinking it was a beautifully elegant example of another common aphorism, “Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.” Read More

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An Update on Scientific Integrity in Canada, and How Scientists In Other Countries Can Help

In recent years, many Canadians have become more and more concerned about political interference in the work of Canadian government scientists, and a new report from PIPSC, the employee union that represents many of these scientists, provides little comfort that the situation will improve anytime soon. UCS has developed an open letter that allows non-Canadian scientists to show support for their Canadian government peers. You can read the letter and sign it here. Read More

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Thanks to You, We Won The “Sound Science” Battle

Yesterday, I was feeling both cynical and depressed about the state of affairs in Washington. The farm bill had been approved, but certainly it wasn’t the ideal. While urging passing of the bill, our Food and Environment program, while appreciative of some of the progress it made, acknowledged its limitations and its unfulfilled potential. Many of us also are keenly aware that food stamp cuts of billions of dollars may compromise the well-being of tens of thousands of American families. Read More

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Part-Time Activism for the Busy Expert: A Molecular Biologist’s Tale

Guest Bogger

Christopher Boniface, Molecular Biologist
Department of Biomedical Engineering, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

Portland, Oregon

I remember the first really large protest I ever attended. I was 21 and it was on the eve of the invasion of Iraq.  The atmosphere was electric—all over the U.S. and around the world, people were out in the streets in massive numbers telling their leaders, “No War!” The eventual invasion and occupation of Iraq was a wake-up call to me about the decision-making abilities of our leaders. It moved me to action on other issues that I care about—especially the environment.  Read More

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