January 16, 2013–The suicide earlier this month of open-access activist Aaron Swartz brings again to the fore the ongoing difficulty journalists have accessing published scientific studies that bear on key current and future policy issues. Photo of Swartz, credit Flickr/peretzp.
October 3, 2012–Five years after wildlife biologist Charles Monnett's 2006 observations of dead polar bears, believed to have drowned because of disappearing Arctic ice, Interior started an investigation of Monnett's science. The findings — partially published September 28, 2012 — were confused and contained no findings of scientific misconduct.
September 19, 2012–A Va. court ruled Sept. 17, 2012 that e-mails generated by climate scientist Michael Mann when he worked at the Univ. of Virginia were exempt from the state's FOIA. Mann has been the target of repeated attacks by climate change deniers due to his famous "hockey stick" graph of global temperature records and indicators.
September 15, 2012–In this excerpt from the latest issue of SEJournal (Summer/Fall), William Souder explains how Rachel Carson's seminal 1962 work Silent Spring shaped (and still shapes) modern environmentalism (from his new book, On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson).
June 13, 2012–The rebellion against commercial and subscription-only publishers over public access to articles based on taxpayer-funded research is gaining ground. The Directory — free, searchable and online — already includes some 819742, full-text, scientific or scholarly articles in 7885 journals.
May 30, 2012–The federal Data.gov, while not perfect, has grown over three years especially strong in datasets from federal agencies that deal with the environment, energy, natural resources, health, and science. Many of them are downloadable, so that you can crunch them on your own computer. Several are map layers or geo-tagged in some way. See a few randomly chosen examples here.
May 16, 2012–A Chicago Tribune investigative series on flame retardant chemicals helps illustrate how federal agency control of what scientists say to reporters can help the chemical and tobacco industries. By reporter Michael Hawthorne.
April 15, 2012–In this issue: Getting into the (Clean Water) Act; SEJ's grant program has real impact on reporting; indie enviro films at Sundance; election year buzzwords; sneak preview of SEJ's 2012 conference, Lubbock, Texas; web tool DocumentCloud brings documents to life; ex-CNN executive producer Dykstra returns to journalism; meteorologists as environmental journalists; SEJ members honored, produce videos, win awards and grants; and 5 book reviews! (Why wait 3 months for access to each quarterly issue? Get your Summer/Fall issue now: how to join or subscribe.)