Report: EPA Chief Signs Proposal Limiting Science Used in Decisions
UPDATE April 30, 2018 Science Publishers Issue Joint Statement on Proposed EPA Rule re: Scientific Studies/Transparency/Data Sharing
Publishers Signing the Statement:
- Science (Family of Journals)
- Public Library of Science
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
- Cell/Cell Press
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a proposed rule Tuesday that seeks to restrict the types of scientific studies that regulators can use to determine the impact of pesticide and pollution exposure on human health.
Critics that include former EPA administrators and scientists said the policy shift is designed to restrict the agency from citing peer-reviewed public-health studies that use patient medical records that must be kept confidential under patient privacy laws.
“This policy converts transparency from a principle for improving science into a weapon that undermines it,” said Brian Nosek, a psychologist who directs and co-founded the Center for Open Science, which advocates for open data and transparency in research.
If finalized after a 30-day public comment period, the new policy would follow other moves by Pruitt that have included replacing academic scientists on EPA advisory committee with those either directly employed by industry or who accept research funding from corporate interests.
Under the measure, the E.P.A. will require that the underlying data for all scientific studies used by the agency to formulate air and water regulations be publicly available. That would sharply limit the number of studies available for consideration because much research relies on confidential health data from study subjects.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.