Federal fisheries scientists claim censorship by agency manager
Source: Associated Press
Seven federal fisheries scientists filed a complaint Monday claiming their supervisor censored their research into the water needs of threatened Klamath Basin salmon because it was viewed by others as biased, violating an Obama administration policy prohibiting political manipulation of science by the federal government.
The Klamath Basin has long been locked in an intense political struggle over sharing scarce water between threatened and endangered fish and a federal irrigation project. A drought in 2001 forced the bureau to shut off most water for the Klamath Reclamation Project, which straddles the Oregon-California border south of Klamath Falls, to preserve water for threatened coho salmon in the Klamath River and endangered suckers in the project's main reservoir.
The complaint alleges Klamath Basin Area Office Manager Jason Phillips took steps to transfer the seven scientists and assign their work to the U.S. Geological Survey, because he felt that other agencies and interested parties in the Klamath Basin viewed their research as inherently biased in favor of the bureau, "producing scientific work only to prove other agencies wrong."
"Our fear is that professionalism has become hazardous to our careers inside Reclamation," Keith Schultz, one of the seven scientists, said in a statement. "We hope this complaint will make a difference in allowing other scientists to come forward and be truthful about science."
1. So address the bias in the publication. Like they said in the article
"Requiring that science be non-controversial is like ordering your omelet made with uncracked eggs," PEER executive director Jeff Ruch said in a statement. "Scientific differences are supposed to be addressed through consultation, not suppressed by bullying and threats."
There is no such thing as science without an agenda. Might as well talk about where it impacts the work, the choice to do the work, or why you asked those questions, anything except pretending. The time for that is past.