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.
April 25, 2019 12:29 PM EDT
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 >
March 14, 2019 1:15 PM EDT
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.
Bury the Science, Then Claim It Doesn’t Exist: Interior Department Undermines Arctic Drilling Review
March 13, 2019 1:55 PM EDT
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 >
February 26, 2019 4:20 PM EDT
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 >