Thursday, February 16, 2017

Science website launched for whistleblowers, in response to Trump administration's gag order

Citing concern that the Trump administration will not be transparent, especially when it comes to climate change, the Union of Concerned Scientists "has created a webpage for federal scientists to report abuses, with instructions on how to avoid detection or hacking," Nicholas Kusnetz reports for InsideClimate News.

"Trump has called climate change a hoax, and one of his administration's first moves was to remove pages from the White House and State Department websites that referred to the issue," Kusnetz writes. "The Trump administration has sent memos and directives to agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Park Service, that some employees reportedly interpreted as gag orders, though some of the directives were later reversed or disavowed."

Michael Halpern, deputy director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told Kusnetz, "There have been a number of actions either proposed or taken by the transition team and the administration that make science more vulnerable to political interference. When you have hostile agency appointees, science becomes more vulnerable to political influence. So I think all these conditions taken together make it more important for federal employees to report what they see."

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