I find this news truly offensive.
Within the past ten days the Environmental Protection Agency dismissed at least nine scientists from an 18-person scientific advisory board dedicated to reviewing the agency’s research and ensuring that its methodology is sound. According to E&E News, several of the fired researchers had been assured just months earlier that their positions on the board would be renewed. A spokesman for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told The New York Times that the administration might fill some of the roles with representatives from industries that the agency regulates. Are we barfing in union on this?
Scientific advisory boards are independent bodies made up of experts outside the government who (you guessed it!) offer advice based on their scientific expertise. The members are usually academic scientists, chosen from a diverse range of fields, though they can also include scientists employed by industry. There are 197 active advisory committees, spread over 20 federal agencies and organizations, that deal directly with scientific and technical programs. That count doesn’t include other kinds of science-related advisory boards, such as those tasked with selecting research grant proposals or ones focused on specific national policy issues.
I am simply outraged over the lack of seriousness many Republicans have when it comes to science. I get it they often disdain higher education and elitist settings where information is provided to allow for society to gain. But how can the majority of us who grasp the value of science make the dense group that seems in power presently understand the stupidity of their actions?