Trump crackdown on science funding/communication

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T.J. Brayshaw
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Trump crackdown on science funding/communication

Post by T.J. Brayshaw » Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:01 pm

Man, I hate to even set foot in this place, but have to.

Not on here a lot lately, and only know a handful of you anyway but if you don’t know, I’m a biology professor. I do and teach research in ecology and evolutionary biology. Science, education (science education specifically, education in general) and environmental issues are big deals to me and my professional friends/colleagues.

Right now, my Twitter and Facebook feeds are filled with nothing but panic and outrage because, if you haven’t heard, the Trump administration has just (as in “this is all unfolding right this moment) put a variety of frightening freezes on funding, hiring and/or communication on a variety of organizations. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) grants, hiring and communications are currently frozen. The USDA (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture) research arm, the ARS, seems to be facing similar restrictions. CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recently cancelled a conference on the connections between health/disease and climate change without explanation. The National Park Service is muzzled. Somebody was tweeting from Badlands National Park about climate change facts, against “the rules”, and those tweets just vanished.

Bad shit is going down. If you’re a fisherman, and a few of you are, this is probably not good news for you whether you realize it or not.

Jis sayin’

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ChaseChrome
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Re: Trump crackdown on science funding/communication

Post by ChaseChrome » Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:09 pm

T.J. Brayshaw wrote: If you’re a fisherman, and a few of you are, this is probably not good news for you whether you realize it or not.

Jis sayin’
Thanks for the "alternative facts" man...
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Re: Trump crackdown on science funding/communication

Post by VTNZ » Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:15 pm

I feel for you. Truly.
I feel for my yank friends and family as well.

But it's just the beginning I'm afraid.

Once he fucks Mexico over in his NAFTA ultimatums, any yank angler there will be a huge target more so than ever.

Censoring public officials and their offices is right out of the Putin playbook.

But hey, Hillary was a "crook" and a "bitch"....so this has GOT to be better, amirite? :vomit

Sorry to hear, but remember there are still some developed nations out there always looking for truth, facts, and science and reality, and the skilled folks like yourself to teach them.
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befuddled
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Re: Trump crackdown on science funding/communication

Post by befuddled » Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:33 pm

Happened during the Bush years as well. Maybe not as obvious because it was obfuscated by folks who knew they only need a scientific report and a soundbyte and all the "conservatives" would back everything they said so they couldn't be labeled as supporting a liberal agenda. Which higher education for the non-elite public systems is considered by them, as you are learning and will feel keenly I fear. We saw a 30% decrease in funding in a single budgetary year.

Unfortunately this time the guy in charge gets all the support he needs by sending a tweet and having it echoed by every politard scared to be seen by the "informed right" as being almost moderate.

Funny. Years ago environmentalism and conservation were conservative values of importance to farmers and hunters and and anglers and outdoors-people.
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T.J. Brayshaw
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Re: Trump crackdown on science funding/communication

Post by T.J. Brayshaw » Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:46 pm

I think all the administrations have tweaked the details of a report here and there. But never in my memory have they banned all forms of communication by employees of the federal institutions.

There are folks at the park service who are probably looking for work at this very instant because they chose to tweet about climate change in the last few hours...

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Re: Trump crackdown on science funding/communication

Post by yard4sale » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:46 pm

T.J. Brayshaw wrote:I think all the administrations have tweaked the details of a report here and there. But never in my memory have they banned all forms of communication by employees of the federal institutions.

There are folks at the park service who are probably looking for work at this very instant because they chose to tweet about climate change in the last few hours...
Dog bless them. You gotta love how trump lies like crazy on twitter but shuts down real science. America, we have our first dictator.
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Re: Trump crackdown on science funding/communication

Post by BigTimber » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:22 am

not condoning the communications freeze when he, himself, won't stop twatting, but why is the Badlands National Park tweeting about climate change? I guess they have the shacknasty's too?
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T.J. Brayshaw
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Re: Trump crackdown on science funding/communication

Post by T.J. Brayshaw » Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:59 pm

BigTimber wrote:not condoning the communications freeze when he, himself, won't stop twatting, but why is the Badlands National Park tweeting about climate change? I guess they have the shacknasty's too?

Why wouldn't they? It's something that is already affecting the parks and will continue to do so.

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yard4sale
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Re: Trump crackdown on science funding/communication

Post by yard4sale » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:08 pm

You can't go back and you can't stand still
If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will

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Re: Trump crackdown on science funding/communication

Post by Obie » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:40 pm

T.J. Brayshaw wrote: I do and teach research in ecology and evolutionary biology. Science, education (science education specifically, education in general) and environmental issues are big deals to me and my professional friends/colleagues.
It's bleak. 2008 "where the fuck'd the money go?!" bleak. I was wrapping up an undergraduate degree then, spent a couple years doing tech work before going back to grad school and landing a salaried gig. Now I'm on the other side of the table, hiring summer hourlies. Part of you wants to tell them to get an MBA, donate a percentage of salary to TU or Nature Conservancy or whatever- it'll have the same effect with a whole lot less heartburn.

I was at a conference when the freeze and the gag order were announced, conversation immediately shifted to what data state agencies can keep collecting in the event federal agencies/projects are mothballed. In short- if you're doing cooperative conservation/restoration work with Forest Service, BLM, Fish & Wildlife, Corps- there's a strong chance you're fucked :coffee

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Re: Trump crackdown on science funding/communication

Post by Eider » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:06 pm

Brayshaw is correct. Recent developments are disturbing. The political side of the executive branch is trying to monopolize government science communication. Not the first time, but it could get ugly. It is the potential destruction of the data that bothers me most.

Funding freezes also bother me. Federal agency grants support undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, laboratory staff, and university infrastructure. Thus, freezing these funds will probably have a direct impact on the quality of post-secondary education, particularly in natural sciences and natural resource management. Such grants support state and municipal projects. Every fisherman should care about this.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is an example of such a program where funding freezes may ripple outwards https://www.epa.gov/great-lakes-funding ... e-2016-rfa

I defended my doctoral thesis in ecology and evolution while Trump was taking the Oath of Office. I passed. Good times with great uncertainty.

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T.J. Brayshaw
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Re: Trump crackdown on science funding/communication

Post by T.J. Brayshaw » Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:54 pm

Eider wrote:I passed.
Kudos. They can't take that away from you!

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