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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EPA Science Advisors Tear Into Agency’s “Transparency” Proposal

The EPA’s own Science Advisory Board (SAB)—two-thirds of which was appointed by the Trump administration—is the latest group of scientists to come out swinging against a proposal to restrict the use of science in agency decisions. The SAB’s draft analysis was released on New Year’s Eve as one of four documents that panned several recent anti-science and anti-environmental proposals. The advisors also challenged EPA’s work on water protection, fuel efficiency, and mercury pollution.

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Court Hears Challenge to EPA Science Advice Ban

UCS’s lawsuit challenging the EPA’s policy banning anyone who has received agency funding from sitting on advisory committees got a hearing today in the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Massachusetts. Read more >

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Notable Moments from the Hearing on EPA’s Proposal to Sideline Science

The House Science Committee yesterday held a hearing on EPA’s horrendous proposal to sideline public health research when it makes decisions. I livetweeted the hearing, as did UCS’s Allison Cain and NRDC’s John Walke. There were several revealing moments that tell us more about EPA’s strategy, highlight the forces behind the proposal, and emphasize the continued and sustained opposition from scientists.

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They want politicians, not scientists, to evaluate the evidence of harm to the public.

The EPA’s Move to Handcuff Scientists Will Sicken and Kill People

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is doubling down on a proposal that would effectively force the agency to ignore thousands of scientific studies when responding to public health threats and setting pollution standards. It could also compromise scientific assessments produced by the EPA on a wide variety of topics, including on chemicals like ethylene oxide. The EPA can’t develop adequate public health protections without fully considering all the scientific evidence. Read more >

Photo: USDA
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On the Verge of Another Election, How is Science Political?

Tomorrow is Election Day, and it’s worth reflecting on how a STEM* identity connects with a political identity. The science blog Sister and Science Rising have put together a fantastic new blog series from women scientists exploring how STEM can be political (yet not partisan), and explaining how working in STEM can profoundly shape advocacy work. They are well worth a read as you head to the polls. Read more >

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