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Posts Tagged ‘Scientific Integrity’

Don’t Be Fooled by the “Moderate” Tag: The Regulatory Accountability Act Threatens Federal Scientific Integrity

People of good will can disagree about the role of government in protecting the public from harm. Libertarians believe that less government is preferable, even when risks to public health and safety are substantial. Others, including many environmentalists, tend to see a much larger role for government in ensuring our access to clean air and water, and protection from toxic chemicals, tainted food, dangerous drugs and devices, and other harms. Read More

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Cautiously Open to Open Science

Last week I was asked to peer-review a manuscript for a top academic journal in my field of study. I accepted the invitation and spent several hours of my weekend reading and critiquing 30 pages of dry technical writing. Did I get paid to do this? Nope. Did I get credit for it? Not really (reviewers are typically anonymous). So why would I waste a precious Saturday for this? Read More

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We Don’t Have To Give Up Our Place To Special Interests: Democracy Gives Us Options

There is a practice in the Senate, primarily of corporate lobbyists, to hire low-income folks, usually minorities, to hold their place in line before Supreme Court or congressional hearings. There are firms that actually hire the standees, and contract with lobbying firms or corporations. Depending on the interest in the issue, standees can wait for hours before a hearing starts.  Last time I checked with one of them, a standee told me he earned $10 an hour. Read More

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Towards Open Access to Government Science: The Obama Administration Takes Some Important Steps

This week, the National Research Council is holding public comment meetings on increasing public access to federally funded research—both access to the data and publications. We encouraged the UCS Science Network to weigh in with their own ideas on how the government can increase public access to its science. After all, this is the science that we all pay for through our tax dollars. 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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#ScioDC: A Conversation on Scientists, Government, and Social Media This Week

This Wednesday, I’ll be speaking at the inaugural event of ScienceOnlineDC about the recent UCS report I co-authored, Grading Government Transparency: Scientists’ Freedom to Speak (and Tweet) at Federal Agencies. ScienceOnlineDC is a newly formed Washington, DC satellite of ScienceOnline, a nonprofit organization that facilitates conversations, community, and collaborations at the intersection of science and the Web. Read More

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President Obama Expected to Speak at NAS on Monday

President Obama is expected to address the National Academy of Sciences on Monday to mark its 150th anniversary, according to an all-staff email that went to NAS employees yesterday.  The speech will stream live at 11:15 a.m. Eastern Time at  www.national-academies.org. Read More

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The EPA and Science Advice: A Story of a Time When Congress Listened

The UCS Science Network brings thousands of scientists and experts together to leverage their unique knowledge and skills to promote science-based, practical solutions to the challenges we face. Our staff in Washington, such as my colleague Celia Wexler, keep an eye on Congress, and we alert members of the Science Network when legislation is being considered that would strengthen or weaken the role of science in policy making. And while with each passing week (and last week, for me, in particular) it is becoming harder and harder to believe, sometimes members of Congress do pay attention to informed constituents. Read More

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