The Huffington Post writes that science is making a comeback to the US House of Representatives science committee.
Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) is the new chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, having taken over the spot as Democrats took control of the House and as the previous chair, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), retired. Johnson previously served as the committee's ranking member.
During his tenure, Smith repeatedly tried to to change how the US National Science Foundation approves grants and criticized studies funded by the agency that he considered unworthy. Science once reported that some lobbyists said the committee had become a "cesspool of bitter partisanship" under Smith. The Huffington Post adds that Smith also dismissed the effects of climate change and would invite industry lobbyists to speak at meetings.
But the committee's meeting this week, which focused on climate change, did not include testimony from any climate change skeptics, according to the Huffington Post, and, the Washington Post adds, had a "lack of rancor."
"Rigorous scientific discourse can help enable the creation of a sound public policy," Johnson said at the start of the meeting, according to the Washington Post.