open records laws


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

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

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 >

Bookmark and Share

Legislation to Modernize the California Public Records Act Improves, Advances

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

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 >

Bookmark and Share

Yes, We Can Defend Scientists from Harassment AND Increase Transparency

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

We’ve written extensively about the use of open records laws to harass scientists for the past couple years and encouraged governments, academic institutions, and journalists to address the challenge of balancing accountability and academic freedom. The issue has taken on a new dimension in recent weeks, as high profile releases have brought significant attention to the work of academics throughout the country. Will this prompt institutions to figure out better solutions? Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Arizona Superior Court Protects Academic Freedom in Climate Email Disclosure Case

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

Arizona basketball fans may be glum after this weekend’s loss to Wisconsin, but there’s some very good news today out of Arizona: a superior court has found that the University of Arizona was right to protect more than 1700 emails to and from university climate scientists from disclosure under the state’s open records act. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Willie Soon, Academic Freedom, and How We Can Deal With Undisclosed Conflicts of Interest

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

In the last week, the Internet has blown up. There were llamas, dresses, and bird-riding weasels. But what also blew up was an important discussion about conflict of interest disclosure and what information academic scientists should be expected to make public. Above all else, the debate has made clear that conflict of interest disclosure rules are lacking and that we need clarity from Congress, scientific societies, and academic institutions on how these issues should be addressed. Read more >

Bookmark and Share