If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



EPA advisor fears marginalization of science

by Jeff Johnson, special to C&EN
June 5, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 23

A top EPA science adviser is warning that recent actions of the Trump Administration may diminish the role and the importance of science at the agency. Deborah L. Swackhamer, chair of EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) and former chair of the agency’s Science Advisory Board, spoke at a May 23 hearing held by a panel of the U.S. House of Representatives Science, Space & Technology Committee. Swackhamer is concerned with the impact of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s recent decision not to renew appointments of nine BOSC members. EPA officials and others say Pruitt wants more diverse scientific committees that include more members from regulated industry. Swackhamer said this may lead to a perception that science is being politicized and marginalized in the agency. BOSC, she says, does not review regulations or science compiled to support regulations but does review science without regard to its use. Although she acknowledges Pruitt’s authority to select science committee members more to his liking, Swackhamer fears a marginalized future role for objective, knowledgeable science advisers. With Pruitt’s cuts and the end of some members’ terms, BOSC’s 18-member advisory committee will be down to five, she pointed out.


This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.