Pruitt Pushes For Transparency In Science | The Daily Caller

“Pruitt will reverse long-standing EPA policy allowing regulators to rely on non-public scientific data in crafting rules….EPA regulators would only be allowed to consider scientific studies that make their data available for public scrutiny under Pruitt’s new policy. Also, EPA-funded studies would need to make all their data public.”

Hard truths behind the fight to run government like a business – Inkstick

“Beyond program performance, the Obama Administration also embraced the non-government benefits offered by the data at the government’s disposal as a service to American citizens and the commercial sector. Through powerful policy statements like the Open Data Executive Order and Open Data Policy, the creation of data.gov, the ongoing open-source efforts of Project Open Data, and its eventual embrace of the DATA Act, the previous Administration demonstrated its belief in the emergent saying, “data is the new oil.” The Administration offered publicly available data to improve the public’s oversight of the government and to be harnessed by businesses and individuals who could find an innovative purpose for it. The Evidence-Based Policymaking Act would build on that by including the main components of the OPEN Government Data Act, which seeks to cement the government’s ongoing open data efforts into law while providing much-needed technology and training for the federal workforce to grow these efforts – investing in the government’s human capital the way businesses have for decades….Evidence-based policymaking that relies on facts and data is critical to oversight and effectiveness – but policy based on emotions and politics all too often drives this generation of political leaders, to the detriment of our governance and our shared security.”

As “Climate Change” Fades from Government Sites, a Struggle to Archive Data | War on the EPA | FRONTLINE | PBS | Official Site

“When the Environmental Protection Agency’s website underwent an overhaul of climate change information on a Friday in late April, Toly Rinberg and Andrew Bergman, both Harvard Ph.D. students in applied physics, set off to figure out what was gone. Sitting in their shared Washington, D.C. apartment, they started a spreadsheet to track the changes. Suddenly missing, they noticed, were scores of pages dedicated to helping state and local governments deal with climate change. The EPA site where those pages lived, titled “Climate and Energy Resources for State, Local, and Tribal Governments,” would disappear for three months, only to come back in July without the word “climate” in its title. The new website now focuses only on energy policy and resources, and is down to 175 pages from 380.”

Beijing Hinders Free Speech in America – The New York Times

“Springer Nature, which publishes prestigious science magazines like Nature, recently blocked access to some articles from China to avoid being banned in the country….

Recently, Clive Hamilton, a professor of public ethics in Australia, said that his publisher [Allen & Unwin] delayed the release of a book of his that investigates the rising influence of the Chinese Communist Party in Australia for fear that the Chinese government may sue for defamation. ….”

These threats to free speech should prompt Western politicians to stand up to China. I’m disappointed that President Trump chose to focus mainly on trade, rather than human rights, during his recent trip to China. There appear to have been no attempts to push back against Beijing’s increasing proclivity to commit rights abuses beyond its borders. Such appeasement will only embolden Mr. Xi, further threatening Western democratic institutions. 

In recent months, the Trump administration has restarted talks with its allies in Asia about how to counter China’s growing assertiveness in the region. It is equally important for the United States to shore up its policies at home to stop China from undermining core democratic values — both on campus and beyond….”

Beijing Hinders Free Speech in America – The New York Times

“Springer Nature, which publishes prestigious science magazines like Nature, recently blocked access to some articles from China to avoid being banned in the country….

Recently, Clive Hamilton, a professor of public ethics in Australia, said that his publisher [Allen & Unwin] delayed the release of a book of his that investigates the rising influence of the Chinese Communist Party in Australia for fear that the Chinese government may sue for defamation. ….”

These threats to free speech should prompt Western politicians to stand up to China. I’m disappointed that President Trump chose to focus mainly on trade, rather than human rights, during his recent trip to China. There appear to have been no attempts to push back against Beijing’s increasing proclivity to commit rights abuses beyond its borders. Such appeasement will only embolden Mr. Xi, further threatening Western democratic institutions. 

In recent months, the Trump administration has restarted talks with its allies in Asia about how to counter China’s growing assertiveness in the region. It is equally important for the United States to shore up its policies at home to stop China from undermining core democratic values — both on campus and beyond….”

Trump’s NOAA nominee could shut down open government weather data to benefit his family business

“AccuWeather has been trying to block open access to publicly-funded weather data for more than a decade. Its interest is to sell the same data to the public without “unfair competition” from the government. In the past it pursued this goal through Rick Santorum, the venal Senator from AccuWeather’s home state of Pennsylvania. Now it’s pursuing this goal through Donald Trump….”

Trump’s pick for NOAA chief causes a storm – POLITICO

“As a top executive at AccuWeather, Barry Myers has pushed for limits on the kinds of products that the National Weather Service offers to the public, saying they offered unfair competition to his industry.

Now, President Donald Trump’s nomination of Myers to lead the weather service’s parent agency could allow him to make those kinds of restrictions mandatory — to the benefit of his family-run forecasting company….”

AAAS Statement on Trump Administration Disbanding National Climate Assessment Advisory Committee | YubaNet

“The August 20 decision by the Trump Administration to not renew the charter for the Sustained National Climate Assessment Federal Advisory Committee is yet another example of the administration’s increasingly blatant attempts to ignore and dismiss scientific information.

At the interface of science and society, the federal government and its research agencies play a critically important role. The capacity to understand and effectively address important policy issues depends on access to relevant scientific and technical expertise. Scientifically accurate information builds the foundation for public policies that promote the well-being of people and communities….”

Political Control Over Public Communications by Government Scientists by Cass R. Sunstein, Lisa Randall :: SSRN

Abstract:  In recent years, there has been a great deal of controversy over political control of communications by government scientists. Legitimate interests can be found on both sides of the equation. This essay argues for adoption and implementation of a framework that accommodates those interests—a framework that allows advance notice to political officials, including the White House, without hindering the free flow of scientific information.