A joint investigation by Columbia Journalism Review and ProPublica into the Obama administration's science openness policies offered only faint praise for Obama's accomplishments. Nearly 400 of roughly 2,100 invited journalists responded to their survey, and they gave both the Bush and Obama administrations poor marks for openness at science agencies.
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NOAA said on Sept. 8, 2011, that the La Niña weather pattern has returned already, after the last La Niña cycle ran from June 2010-May 2011, causing extraordinarily frequent and damaging extreme weather. If typical patterns pan out in the new cycle, that could lead to more drought and fires in the south, and blizzards and flooding in the north.SEJ Publication Types:
Top officials at the Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management, Regulation and Enforcement have been charged with scientific misconduct regarding a possible cover-up over the suspension and sudden reinstatement of Dr. Charles Monnett, who authored a paper suggesting climate change was harming polar bears.
In formal comments on EPA's August 5, 2011, draft Scientific Integrity Policy, submitted September 2, SEJ recommended that EPA adopt portions of a model policy drafted by the Union of Concerned Scientists in addition to affirming that "media have a right to interact with EPA staff, including scientists, without having agency staff and/or political minders listening in or otherwise taking part."
An Aug. 5, 2011, NASA memo says the agency's existing policies are so good they don't need improving — yet the policies do not offer any clear guarantee that reporters can talk to NASA scientists without permission and supervision from the public affairs office.
In formal comments, SEJ stated that the section of NOAA guidance policy requiring advance public affairs approval of media interviews — and minders sitting in on those interviews — thwarts open communication between scientists and reporters, which is "unacceptable in a free society."
The draft "Scientific Integrity Policy" marks the first time that the EPA's previously unwritten minders-and-permissions policy for press interviews has been reduced to a publicly disclosed written policy applying to the entire agency. The Society of Environmental Journalists has previously opposed these restrictions and is likely to submit formal comments on this draft policy as well.
New documents, released only after a lawsuit, to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility show the White House is telling agencies they can stick with existing practices when it comes to political interference with science — and do just about anything they want.
In a court agreement filed May 22, 2011, University of Virginia agreed to release documents of former U.Va. researcher/climate scientist Michael Mann. The plaintiff is American Tradition Institute, which raises funds with the slogan "Crush Gang Green and their anti-business allies."Region:
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