Michael Halpern

Deputy director, 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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Top EPA Science Office Sidelined as Political Appointees Hatched Controversial Science Proposal

The EPA’s Office of the Science Advisor (OSA) was excluded from discussions around a proposal to restrict the types of science that could be used in agency decisions, according to an email obtained by UCS. Described by EPA as providing “leadership in cross-Agency science and science policy,” the OSA would normally be principally involved in such an effort. This is further evidence that the science rule was developed by political appointees while completely excluding top EPA scientific staff. Read more >

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EPA office building with agency flag

The EPA Disbanded Its Office of Science Advisor. Here’s Why That Matters.

Late last week, the EPA announced its intention to get rid of its Office of the Science Advisor (OSA) and bury its functions deep down in another agency office. This move will significantly diminish efforts to coordinate and standardize the way that EPA does science. The administrator will have significantly less access to scientific advice at normal times and during times of crisis. And it will be easier for agency leaders to sideline and politicize science. Read more >

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What is the Responsible Science Policy Coalition? Here Are Some Clues

An interesting new group has popped up called the Responsible Science Policy Coalition (RSPC) that seems to have a significant interest in chemical safety policy. Are they legitimate? As Congress prepares for another hearing into the dangers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, it’s worth digging into who these folks might be. Read more >

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The Department of Interior Does Not Care What You Think About Endangered Species

The Department of Interior simultaneously announced three majorly flawed proposals that would radically transform how the Endangered Species Act functions and gave the public just 60 days to provide feedback. Yesterday, without providing any reasoning, the department denied a request from UCS to extend the comment period. That means you have six more days to file a comment (Rule 1, Rule 2, Rule 3). This guide from UCS can help you craft an effective comment on one or all of these rules. Read more >

Photo: NCinDC/CC BY-ND 2.0 (Flickr)
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Photo: Omari Spears/UCS

Public Discussion of Science Policy Surges Nationwide as Thousands Engage in Science Rising

The great awakening of the science community is only gaining steam in the wake of increased attacks on science. Since the spring launch of Science Rising, we’ve recorded more than 125 events submitted by 118 organizations around the country who are focused on making sure science is front and center in the decision-making processes that affect us all. As we get closer to the midterm elections, it becomes ever more critical for us to create conversations that encourage elected officials to protect science. Here are 5 Science Rising events you may have missed—and 5 more coming up, including a Twitter chat later today.

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Photo: Omari Spears/UCS
Photo: John Saller
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