sidelining science


Photo: C-SPAN

Bury Myers’ NOAA Nomination

Dr. Jane Willenbring, Associate Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Dr. Amy Freitag is a contract social scientist, , UCS

We became scientists to make discoveries and explore the unknown, not to wonder why science is rife with sexual harassment and discrimination. But that is not how our paths have gone. One of us (Dr. Willenbring) survived severe sexual harassment at a remote field station in Antarctica, which only recently resulted in the firing of the perpetrator. The other (Dr. Freitag) is a NOAA contractor who has watched how handling of sexual harassment cases can make or break a career in science.

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Photo: C-SPAN
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Cartoon: Justin Bilicki

Four New (Old) Ways the White House is Trying to Restrict Science for Policymaking

, director, Center for Science & Democracy

Yesterday, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the White House issued new “guidance” for the Administration to “Improve Implementation of the Information Quality Act”. Unfortunately, it reads like a re-hashing of some of the worst ideas for restricting the use of science in policymaking from the last five years or so. Way back in 2015, when some members of Congress were trying some of these same tricks to tip the scales in favor of regulated industry we summarized them in a Policy Forum article in Science. Here we go again—but this time, the Trump administration is trying to push these changes through unilaterally, the latest round in a long list of efforts to push science to the sidelines. Read more >

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Perdue’s Paradox: Proposed USDA Reorganization Would Undermine Farmers and Science-Based Research

, Senior Manager of Government Affairs

Presidential budgets are wish lists. Very detailed and public wish lists.

That’s why on Monday, when the Trump Administration released its FY2020 Budget, it was alarming to see a 7 percent reduction to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area.

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Photo: US Fish and Wildlife Service

Bury the Science, Then Claim It Doesn’t Exist: Interior Department Undermines Arctic Drilling Review

, Senior Fellow

Documents released this this week indicate that the Interior Department failed to consider internal memos from staff scientists raising scientific and environmental concerns about proposed oil and gas operations in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. These were not minor concerns; the memos described significant data gaps for understanding the area’s habitat. Read more >

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USDA Photo by Lance Cheung/Flickr

After Two Years, Trump’s USDA Is Making Good on Promises (to Agribusiness)

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

This week, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is set to appear before Congress for the first time in a year. When he testifies on the state of the rural economy at a hearing of the House agriculture committee, he’ll have a lot to answer for. Over the last year—Perdue’s second at the helm of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)—he has been busy sidelining science and undermining the nation’s health on behalf of the Big Food and Big Ag industries.

Oh, and the state of the rural economy? That’s not looking so great under Perdue’s and the president’s watch either. Read more >

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