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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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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The Senate Will Accelerate Kelvin Droegemeier’s White House Science Advisor Nomination. That’s a Good Thing.

Try not to breathe too easily, but the Senate is in fast drive mode to consider the nomination of Kelvin Droegemeier to lead the White House Office and Science and Technology Policy. And well it should. These days, this is one nomination we should all be excited about, as this Superman of science policy is sorely needed in the White House.

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At Long Last, President Trump is Expected to Appoint a Science Adviser

Multiple outlets (Nature, Science, the Washington Post) are reporting that President Trump is set to appoint meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier to lead the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). He is an experienced scientist with an impressive record of public service. When the appointment happens, the Senate should move quickly to vet and consider his nomination so that the vacuum of science advice within the White House can begin to be filled.

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Department of Interior Buries Communications Policy After Attempting to Justify Muzzling Scientists

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times broke the story about the new policy at the U.S. Geological Survey requiring scientists to get permission before speaking to reporters about science. In an attempt to justify the muzzling, a department spokesperson said they were just following an Obama-era communications policy (sound familiar?). After reporters linked to the policy, it was removed from its previous location and buried deep in the DOI website. You can find it there as a Word document; I’ve made a PDF available hereRead more >

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EPA Extends Comment Deadline, Schedules Hearing on Science Proposal After Pretty Much Everyone Complains

The EPA today extended the comment deadline to August 16 on its proposal to restrict the types of science that can be used in EPA decisions after pretty much everyone—from the American Home Builders Association to the American Geophysical Union—complained that a thirty-day comment period was grossly insufficient for a rule with such potential wide-ranging consequences. The EPA also scheduled a public hearing to be held in Washington, DC on July 17. Read more >

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