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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What to Expect from Today’s EPA Scientific Integrity Stakeholder Meeting

Later today, a few dozen advocates will head to the Environmental Protection Agency for a stakeholder meeting on protections for scientific research at the agency in the context of its annual scientific integrity report and scientific integrity policy. The meeting is an opportunity for organizations to ask questions about the report, to give feedback to the agency, and to identify new or emerging challenges to scientific integrity at EPA. Here’s how I expect it to go down.  Read more >

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One Thing You Can Do to Stand Up for Science This Week

The Scientific Integrity Act would give federal government scientists the right to share their research publicly and protect science in policy decisions from political manipulation—and you can help advance its progress. Today kicks off the National Call Out to Protect Scientific Integrity—and UCS is making it easier than ever for you to stand up for science and help restore science to its rightful place in public health and environmental decision-making. Read more >

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An intern doing scientific research in a US Navy laboratory.
Photo: John F. Williams, US Navy/CC BY 2.0, Flickr

Understanding the New Restrictions on Fetal Tissue Research, and Attacks on the Scientists Who Use It

If you want to understand the toxic and skewed discussion around the use of fetal tissue in research, the negative consequences for individual scientists and their work, and the consequences of these new restrictions, here are some good places to start. Read more >

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How Scientists are Responding to On the Media’s Reporting on Researcher Harassment

The prolific public radio show On The Media last week explored how open records laws are used to disrupt public interest research at public universities and examined the challenges of creating laws that allow for scrutiny while protecting free speech. The reporter, Alana Casanova-Burgess, treated the issue with the complexity it deserves, and in the days since, I’ve heard from several professors around the country by email and phone. Read more >

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Legislation to Modernize the California Public Records Act Improves, Advances

UCS-supported legislation to modernize the California Public Records Act (CPRA) advanced through the California Assembly Judiciary Committee earlier this month, and will soon be heard by Assembly Appropriations. Assembly Bill 700 is intended to preserve the ability of researchers at public universities to pursue highly policy-relevant research without being harassed and attacked by companies and activists who are threatened by their work. The legislation has sparked spirited, productive, highly interesting conversations about how to protect researchers while also allowing for full accountability for public institutions and their staff. Read more >

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