Abuse of Science in Texas: Secret Science Reform Needs to Apply to More than Just EPA

Posted by Anne LeHuray, February 21, 2015

Originally published by American Thinker (November 26, 2014)

On November 19, 2014, the House of Representatives passed HR 4012, the Secret Science Reform Act of 2014. The bill would prohibit the US Environmental Protection Agency from regulations based on “science that is not transparent or reproducible.” Hooray! Reproducibility is the touchstone of science. Transparency is the way to ensure that scientists who want to reproduce another scientist’s results can try to do so. No scientist anywhere would argue against reproducibility, nor should any scientist argue that research results used to make regulatory decisions (such as drug approvals, emission limits, product bans) be exempt from transparency. Unfortunately transparency has not always been a priority. Examples of the current reproducibility crisis in the sciences can be found here, here, here, here and here. A requirement to use transparent, reproducible science should apply to all government agencies, not just EPA. The government need not replicate the science itself, just make sure the information needed for reproducibility is readily available. Just one of the many examples from the pavement coatings industry’s decade-long effort to obtain data from the US Geological Survey illustrates the point. Continue reading