Censorship prevalent at US environment agency, reveals survey

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London, May 6 : A survey by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a lobby group based in Washington DC, has revealed that many scientists at the US Environmental Protection Agency feel unable to speak openly for fear of retaliation from senior officials appointed by the Bush administration.

The findings of the survey, in which a total of 1583 EPA scientists were surveyed, have proved how widespread the censorship of science has become at the agency.

According to a report in New Scientist, over half of the scientists said that they were not allowed to talk freely with the media, while a quarter said they would not be allowed to publish results that contradicted the agency's official line.

The survey also revealed that researchers were often pressured not to publicly discuss issues linked to climate change, such as the coastal erosion caused by rising sea levels.

But the survey does note some small victories for free speech.

For example, when one researcher was barred from talking about climate change at a conference, the meeting's organisers told the EPA that they would hold a 20-minute silence in place of the missing talk, which caused the agency to reverse its decision.

ANI

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