Via BeauHD at Slashdot:
Popular Science reports that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now barred from communicating with the public. [And early this morning, BuzzFeed revealed that] The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has banned scientists and other employees from sharing the results of its taxpayer-funded research with the broader public. Here.
UDPDATE 1/24/17: The USDA has disavowed the memo sent to employees at its Agricultural Research Service unit. USDA’s deputy administrator, Michael Young, clarified that the gag order specifically applies to policy-related statements in press releases and interviews, which need to be vetted with the secretary of agriculture. He told The Washington Post that peer-reviewed scientific papers from the unit should not be blocked, nor should food safety announcements.More.
In short, the story isn’t true. Of course, no stable government permits junior civil servants to Just Imagine government policy in front of a mike somewhere. But so?
That said, in a world where US city officials have gone to war against residents drinking too much soda pop (the residents “evolved” to need coercion, you see), the story might be believed because, what else is new?
Wait! Wasn’t Popular Science one of the pop sci mags in the forefront of the move to eliminate comments to science news stories (as an alternative to screening them)?
So could these people please melt down in a private, not a public, place somewhere? The world has business—and science—to do.
See also: New Scientist author supports Popular Science shutting down comments.
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