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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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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Trump Administration Proposes Sponsorship Opportunities for Federal Agency Staff Positions and “Assets”

Sports fans have long been familiar with their favorite stadiums being sponsored by companies. Under a new Trump administration proposal, positions within federal agencies—and, incredibly, “assets” such as federal lands—would be open to sponsorship by the highest bidder. We’d strongly encourage you to submit public comments on this ridiculous proposal here. Read more >

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The Scientific Integrity Act is Good for Science and Good for Government

Today, Senator Schatz (D-HI) and Representative Tonko (D-NY) introduced the Scientific Integrity Act, legislation that would give scientists who work for government agencies the right to share their research with the public, ensure that government communication of science is accurate, and protect science in policy decisions from political interference. The bill empowers federal scientists to share their personal opinions as informed experts. And the bill prohibits any employee from censoring or manipulating scientific findings. Anyone reading this post should reach out to their representative and senators to urge co-sponsorship of this important bill. Read more >

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Corporations and Activists are Exploiting Open Records Laws. California is Trying to Change That

Corporations and activists from the left and the right are abusing open records laws to harass public university researchers. A growing body of analysis shows that these attacks are growing both in number and severity. Fortunately, some states have begun to clarify how these laws apply to university researchers, both through courts and state legislatures. Read more >

Cartoon: Brian Narelle/UCS
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Photo: Barbara Barrett

The Game is Changing: How Two Years of Trump Has Energized the Science Community

There’s never been anything like this. This is the golden age of scientist engagement in America. I have never seen anywhere close to this level of sustained interest in defending the role of science in both societal and individual decisions Read more >

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