The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been told to stop funding grants and stop talking about scientific findings. Via Reuters:
U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has asked the Environmental Protection Agency to temporarily halt all contracts, grants and interagency agreements pending a review, according to sources.
The White House sent a letter to the EPA's Office of Administration and Resources Management ordering the freeze on Monday, an EPA staffer told Reuters. "Basically no money moving anywhere until they can take a look," the staffer said, asking not to be named.
Via The Verge:
Also, employees have been banned from providing updates to reporters or on social media. The internal memo specifies that no press releases will go out to external audiences, there will be “no blog messages” and media requests will be carefully screened.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been told not to talk about their science. Via Buzzfeed News:
According to an email sent Monday morning and obtained by BuzzFeed News, the department told staff — including some 2,000 scientists — at the agency’s main in-house research arm, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), to stop communicating with the public about taxpayer-funded work.
“Starting immediately and until further notice, ARS will not release any public-facing documents,” Sharon Drumm, chief of staff for ARS, wrote in a department-wide email shared with BuzzFeed News.
“This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content,” she added.
I'm sure I do not need to lead you by the hand to realize that this is a political putsch directed against scientific entities that tend to relate data that is discordant with Republican worldviews and preferred policies.
This is just the beginning. Each successful gag/intimidation will just fuel the next one.
NIH and NSF, dear to many in my audience, are most assuredly next, people. I hope not too many of you are counting on grant awards that are due to be issued in the next, oh, six months or so. Especially if you work on scientific questions that the Republicans have attacked before. Such as HIV/AIDS, drug abuse, mental health, LGBT issues, anything to do with family structure or dynamics, much of psychology and sociology, etc. And lord help you if you work with obviously ridiculous models such as fruit flies or obviously ridiculous therapies, like exercise.