Michael Halpern

Former deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

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Michael Halpern was deputy director of the Center for Science & Democracy, where he worked on political interference in science, and on solutions to reduce suppression, manipulation, and distortion of government science.

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Michael's Latest Posts

White House Hides COVID-19 Data, Will Make the Pandemic Even Worse

The White House this week ordered the CDC to stop collecting data on COVID-19 illness, hospitalizations, and deaths. Instead the administration will collect and filter the data through a third-party contractor hired under questionable circumstances by the Department of Health and Human Services. Incredibly, as part of this change the data may no longer be available to the public in a timely manner. Read more >

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Scientists Prevail in Lawsuit Against EPA Science Advice Ban

In a win for independent science, the EPA said yesterday that it will rescind a policy banning many of the nation’s top environmental scientists from serving on the agency’s science advisory committees. The agency was under court order to remove it. Read more >

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Restoring Science, Protecting the Public: 43 Steps for the Next Presidential Term

Federal government scientists should be free to pursue research where it leads and communicate their results without political manipulation. The government should collect reliable data about public health and environmental threats and make it publicly available. Formal science advice to government should be robust and independent. Agency leaders should be qualified, ethical, and accountable. Public protections should fully consider the best available science. Those who expose political interference in science should be protected. Read more >

Photo: EPA
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Victory: House Includes Bipartisan Scientific Integrity Act in HEROES legislation

The outlook for the independence of scientists throughout government just got a lot sunnier. Just a few moments ago, the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Scientific Integrity Act as part of the HEROES Act COVID-19 stimulus legislation. The Scientific Integrity Act would shield government scientists and their work from political influence. The legislation makes it more likely that the experts who work on our behalf can investigate public health and environmental threats and share their work directly and honestly. Read more >

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EPA Refused to Hold a Hearing on its Science Rule, So We Held It for Them

On March 18th, a date when many of us were already sheltering in place, the EPA announced a proposal to restrict how the agency uses science to protect public health. The EPA gave the public thirty days to provide comment. Held no virtual public hearings. In the middle of a pandemic. We urged the agency, repeatedly, to hold a virtual hearing on the proposal. Each time, they refused. So UCS decided that if the EPA would not do its job, someone would need to do it for them. EPA would get the feedback and the science advice whether they wanted to or not. Read more >

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