Monday, March 12, 2012

Heads They Win, Tails We Lose

Grifo, Francesca; Michael Halpern; Peter Hansel. “Heads They Win, Tails We Lose: How Corporations Corrupt Science at the Public’s Expense.” The Scientific Integrity Program of the Union of Concerned Scientists, February 2012.

From the report: "Access to the best available science allows federal decision makers to craft policies that protect our health and safety and the environment. Unfortunately, censorship of scientists and the manipulation, distortion, and suppression of scientific information has threatened the federal sci­entific enterprise in recent years.

This serious problem has sparked much debate, but few have analyzed the key driver of political interference in federal science: the inappropriate influence of companies with a financial stake in the outcome. This influence affects not only the science used in decision making, but also public opinion and the decision-making process itself. By better understanding how corporations influence the use of science in federal decision making, we can both hold companies and policy makers accountable for their actions and ensure that the nation develops science-based policies that serve the public interest…Recognizing that solving this problem extends far beyond what the government can accomplish alone, we also suggest broader reforms that corporations, the scientific community, academic institutions, news media, and the courts can pursue to ensure transparency and accountability in the use of science." Read more