The easiest way to undermine good science is to demand that it be made “sound.”
Science is being turned against itself. For decades, its twin ideals of transparency and rigor have been weaponized by those who disagree with results produced by the scientific method. Under the Trump administration, that fight has ramped up again.
In a move ostensibly meant to reduce conflicts of interest, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has removed a number of scientists from advisory panels and replaced some of them with representatives from industries that the agency regulates. Like many in the Trump administration, Pruitt has also cast doubt on the reliability of climate science. For instance, in an interview with CNBC, Pruitt said that “measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do.” Similarly, Trump’s pick to head NASA, an agency that oversees a large portion the nation’s climate research, has insisted that research into human influence on climate lacks certainty, and he falsely claimed that “global temperatures stopped rising 10 years ago.” Kathleen...