Congressional investigations


The Public Interest Lies in Promoting Transparency AND Protecting Scientists from Harassment

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

On Sunday, the New York Times published an op-ed from Paul Thacker, a former Senate staffer who is critical of UCS’s efforts to protect scientists from harassment. Unfortunately, he misrepresents our work, as he did previously in a PLOS Biology op-ed that was ultimately retracted (to our surprise, while we were corresponding with an editor about corrections to the piece). Read more >

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House Science Committee Investigations—Remember Our History

, director, Center for Science & Democracy

This week marks the anniversary of a sad chapter in American history, the beginning of the US House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities’ (HUAC) investigative hearings into communism in Hollywood in 1947. That reminder of history is important, because Congressional investigations are an important part of the checks and balances in our democracy. But that doesn’t mean every investigation is fair or warranted. Only a few weeks ago another House of Representatives Committee (Science, Space and Technology) announced that it was opening an investigation—this time concerning a scientist who had the temerity to express his views that fossil fuel companies should be held accountable for climate change. Read more >

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Transparency is Great, Harassment is Worth Preventing: A Response to Paul Thacker and Charles Seife

, former science communication officer

*See 8/24/15 update*

Transparency is in everyone’s interest. Harassing scientists is not. So where should we draw the line when politicians use their investigatory powers to target scientists or when corporations and ideological interest groups use open records requests to harass researchers at public institutions? Read more >

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