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Department of Interior Buries Communications Policy After Attempting to Justify Muzzling Scientists

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times broke the story about the new policy at the U.S. Geological Survey requiring scientists to get permission before speaking to reporters about science. In an attempt to justify the muzzling, a department spokesperson said they were just following an Obama-era communications policy (sound familiar?). After reporters linked to the policy, it was removed from its previous location and buried deep in the DOI website. You can find it there as a Word document; I’ve made a PDF available hereRead more >

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As Asbestos Toll Mounts, Trump’s EPA Ignores It

Two years ago, President Obama signed a successful bipartisan effort to update the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA). It was called the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act, named for the late New Jersey senator who had long championed it. The new act was intended to give the federal government more power to regulate dangerous chemicals that the chemical industry had previously been able to shield under the cloak of confidential business information and a misplaced priority on minimizing costs to businesses over public health. Obama said those hurdles made it “virtually impossible” for the Environmental Protection Agency “to actually see if those chemicals were harming anybody.” Read more >

Photo: NAVFAC/CC BY 2.0 (Flickr)
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The Forgotten Scientists: LGBQT in STEM

, research scientist, Center for Science and Democracy

Last year, I wrote my very first blog post during pride month. In this piece, I discussed the lack of data on representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and transgender (LGBQT) individuals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Without such data, it is impossible to know whether LGBQT individuals are as equally represented in STEM as their heterosexual colleagues. It’s been one year—do we know any more about LGBQT representation in STEM? Read more >

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Breaking Through the Ice: LGBTQ+ Visibility in Stem

Dr. Lauren Esposito , UCS

I grew up in one of the only Democrat-voting counties in Texas, along the border of Mexico. The majority of people who live in the city are Hispanic, and Catholic culture runs deep for those people who practice religion and those who don’t alike. My family wasn’t much for religion, but one summer my grandmother sent me to Vacation Bible School, as it’s called in Texas. I fit in perfectly because on the first day I declared to the rest of the kids that I was a boy. I guess I knew from the ripe old age of six that being a girl who was a tomboy wasn’t going to make me any friends in West Texas, and it was easier to fit in pretending to be something I wasn’t, which in this case was a boy. Read more >

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Streaks of light on Colorado road.

Good News for Colorado Drivers: Hickenlooper Moves to Adopt State Clean Car Standards

, research and deputy director, Clean Vehicles

This week Governor Hickenlooper ordered his agency staff to move forward in adopting California Clean Car Standards for Colorado – a move that would prevent the harm to Colorado consumers that the anticipated federal rollback of fuel economy and emissions standards is expected to bring.   Read more >

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