Once he was inaugurated, President Barack Obama ordered his advisors to develop rules that would boost scientific integrity through the government, the Los Angeles Times reports. But a year and a half later, and still no rules issued, some researchers are beginning to feel betrayed. "Now scientists charge that the Obama administration is not doing enough to reverse a culture that they contend allowed officials to interfere with their work and limit their ability to speak out," the article says. For example, water-quality experts in Florida say the government has been interfering in their efforts to assess damage to the Everglades caused by development projects; in some Western states, biologists are being told to ignore the effects of overgrazing on the land. Inconvenient data gathered by government scientists is sometimes pushed aside by managers who aren't researchers, the article adds. "Basically, science is still being scuttled," Katie Fite of the Western Watersheds Project tells the LA Times.
Digby at the Hullabaloo blog says that while cleaning political house is certainly time-consuming, changing the previous administration's stance on science should have been a top priority for this government. "Continuing the criminal neglect of science and reason in policy making is governing malpractice," Digby says, calling the findings in the LA Times article "depressing."