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.
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One sign of problems came when Interior's Inspector General office launched what seemed to be a ham-handed investigation, later dropped, into activities of the scientist who sounded the alarm on polar bears losing habitat to global warming. Now Interior has fired one of its scientific integrity officers — who is defending himself by saying he was just doing his job.Topics on the Beat:
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.)SEJ Publication Types:
The complaints came out at the Vancouver meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) this month — the main multidisciplinary science conference held yearly on the continent. Also during the meeting, a letter from six journalism and science groups called on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to end the muzzling-scientists policy was released.Region:
Read SEJ's February 6, 2012, letter to Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chair Harris condemning ejection of Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Josh Fox from the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology's subcommittee hearing on EPA's policies and enforcement of water quality issues surrounding natural gas drilling or "fracking."
This year's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Feb 16-20 in Vancouver, BC, offers dozens of sessions on environmental topics — climate change, mineral resource dependency, water, critique of science journalism, disaster recovery, science integrity in government agencies, and more.SEJ Publication Types:Topics on the Beat:Region:
From the latest issue of SEJ's biweekly TipSheet: EOL, which is searchable by both common and scientific terms, has vastly expanded its content since its launch in 2008 and now provides extensive nitty-gritty on about half of all described species, as laid out in more than 950,000 pages and more than 760,000 images.SEJ Publication Types:Region:
Environmental journalists are still waiting to see whether EPA revises the draft Scientific Integrity Policy in which it claims the right to keep scientists from talking to reporters without press office permission — and have Saddam-style "minders" sit in on interviews.
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After officials appointed by presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) deleted references to climate change from a report on Galveston Bay, other scientists asked that their names be disassociated from the report.Region: