Issue Date: August 7, 2017
Science groups seek meeting with EPA chief on climate science
Leaders of 16 scientific societies have invited EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to discuss the science of climate change. A July 31 letter from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, and other organizations was a response to reports that Pruitt is planning an attack on climate change research. He wants to create a “red team/blue team” military-style critique of vulnerabilities in major scientific ideas about climate change. The societies point out that peer review already serves this purpose in science by constantly challenging research findings and forcing scientists to reevaluate their assumptions and conclusions. But they worry that normal scientific disagreements about data or methods are being misinterpreted. “The integrity of the scientific process cannot thrive when policymakers—regardless of party affiliation—use policy disagreements as a pretext to challenge scientific conclusions,” the letter states. The organizations have offered to meet with Pruitt to find out more about his plans and to discuss climate science. The American Chemical Society, which publishes C&EN, did not sign the letter because it wanted to allow the EPA process to run its course, according to spokesperson Glenn Ruskin. “The society will be closely monitoring the situation and will take action moving forward as appropriate,” he says.
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