EPA cancels its own scientists' climate talks, sparking outcry over government silencing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has stopped three of its scientists from speaking at a Rhode Island conference, where Autumn Oczkowski, an EPA research ecologist, was supposed to be the keynote speaker. The agency offered no explanation for the last-minute cancellation, but it looks an awful lot like the Trump administration censoring scientists who research—and discuss—climate change. The conference is unveiling a 500-page report, written in part by EPA scientists, on the health of Narragansett Bay. The New York Times reports that Oczkowski planned on mentioning how climate change threatens the bay, New England's largest estuary, in her speech. Her colleagues, Rose Martin and Emily Shumchenia, were to participate in a panel entitled "The Present and Future Implications of Climate Change." "The silencing of government scientists is a scary step toward silencing anyone who disagrees," said Robinson Fulweiler, a biogeochemist at Boston University, who will give the keynote address in Oczkowski's place. She reminds us that the "choice by our government leaders to ignore the abundant and overwhelming data regarding climate change does not stop it from being true."

Related Content