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How the Bush administration meddles with government science.

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The Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit group championing scientific integrity, keeps an A-to-Z tally of politically motivated meddling with hard science at U.S. government agencies. Its latest report, titled "Interference at the EPA," (executive summary below and on the following eight pages) documents complaints from hundreds of scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency. The bad news: "60 percent of respondents personally experienced at least one incident of political interference during the past 5 years." The problem appears to be worsening, because obstruction occurred "more often in the past five years" than during the previous five-year period (Page 3). Examples of political intrusion include White House manipulation of "scientific findings … regarding mercury pollution and climate change." In addition, the White House Office of Management and Budget and other federal agencies have second-guessed the EPA's assessment of toxic chemicals (Page 5).

The watchdog group proposes making science assessments "more transparent" and "depoliticizing funding, monitoring, and enforcement" at the EPA (Page 9).

Political-science-9.jpg

http://www.slate.com/id/2189986/

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