“Tristan Louis gives weight to new term that I like a lot: fauxpen. Faux in French means “false” or “fake”. So fauxpen means fake open. There has always been a lot of that going around, but since the world of tech inevitably contains more of everything, there’s more fauxpen stuff than ever….”
“The Trump administration’s EPA broke the law when it finalized a “science transparency” rule and made it effective immediately, a federal court ruled Wednesday in a decision that could help the Biden administration scrap the rule.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Montana said the Environmental Protection Agency failed to justify its decision to make the controversial rule take effect right after its publication in the Federal Register, instead of after 30 days, as is typical….”
“A federal judge in Montana late Wednesday ruled against the Trump administration’s attempt to fast-track a controversial rule about how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers scientific evidence, endangering its future under the Biden administration.
The Trump EPA had characterized the rule, which would restrict the use of studies that don’t make their underlying data publicly available, as procedural, allowing it to go into effect immediately.
Judge Brian Morris, an Obama appointee, disagreed, determining that the rule was substantive and ordering that it can’t go into effect until Feb. 5.
Delaying the rule could jeopardize it, as it would now be subject to a new White House memo that freezes pending regulations for 60 days….”
“Green groups on Monday filed a lawsuit in an attempt to prevent a new rule limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) use of certain studies from taking effect.
The lawsuit takes aim at the EPA’s Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science rule, also known as the “secret science” rule, which restricts the use of studies that don’t make their underlying data public.
The agency has billed the rule as a transparency measure, though its opponents argue that it will prevent consideration of important public health studies that can’t publish their data for reasons such as privacy. …”
“The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized a rule to limit what research it can use to craft public health protections, a move opponents argue is aimed at crippling the agency’s ability to more aggressively regulate the nation’s air and water.
The “Strengthening Transparency in Pivotal Science Underlying Significant Regulatory Actions and Influential Scientific Information” rule, which the administration began pursuing early in President Trump’s term, would require researchers to disclose the raw data involved in their public health studies before the agency could rely upon their conclusions. It will apply this new set of standards to “dose-response studies,” which evaluate how much a person’s exposure to a substance increases the risk of harm….”
“President Donald Trump’s administration yesterday finalized a controversial rule that would make it more difficult for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use major health studies to guide pollution regulations. But the new rule—which has been fiercely opposed by the scientific community—could have a short life. The apparent victory by Democrats yesterday in two Senate races in Georgia is expected to give the party control of the U.S. Senate, and lawmakers could use a rarely invoked law to revoke the rule by a simple majority vote….”
“SUMMARY: This action establishes how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will consider the availability of dose-response data underlying pivotal science used in its significant regulatory actions and influential scientific information. When promulgating significant regulatory actions or developing influential scientific information for which the conclusions are driven by the quantitative relationship between the amount of dose or exposure to a pollutant, contaminant, or substance and an effect, the EPA will give greater consideration to studies where the underlying dose-response data are available in a manner sufficient for independent validation. This action also requires the EPA to identify and make publicly available the science that serves as the basis for informing a significant regulatory action at the proposed or draft stage to the extent practicable; reinforces the applicability of peer review requirements for pivotal science; and provides criteria for the Administrator to exempt certain studies from the requirements of this rulemaking….”
“The EPA’s new rule, which will be formally published tomorrow, is an attempt to set additional standards for the evidence it considers when establishing new regulations for pollutants. In principle, the rule sounds great: it wants the data behind the scientific papers it uses to be made publicly available before it can be used to support regulatory decisions. In reality, the rule is problematic, because many of these studies rely on patient records that need to be kept confidential. In other cases, the organizations with the best information on some environmental hazards are the companies that produce or work with them, and they may not be interested in sharing proprietary data.
The practical result of this sort of change is that the EPA would be precluded from relying on scientific papers that contained the clearest indications of public harm. This would almost certainly lead to weaker rules or a decision not to regulate at all….”
“The White House appears to have concluded its review of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that’s expected to limit the types of scientific research the agency can consider in its rulemaking process.
The website for the White House’s Office of Management and Budget lists the rule’s review as concluded this week.
The rule, which the agency has billed as a transparency measure, is expected to limit the EPA’s ability to consider studies that don’t make their underlying data public.
Critics argue that this could cause the agency to exclude important research like landmark public health studies that can’t release participants’ information.
EPA spokesperson James Hewitt, however, declined to say whether the rule had been finalized and signed by Administrator Andrew Wheeler, saying “we have nothing to announce at this time” in an email to The Hill.
“The American public deserve transparency and access to data that determine regulatory decisions and in a way that protects the privacy of individuals and other confidential information,” Hewitt added. …”
“As President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency rushes to complete its regulatory rollbacks, agency staff, emboldened by the Biden victory, moves to stand in the way….
Thomas Sinks directed the E.P.A.’s science advisory office and later managed the agency’s rules and data around research that involved people. Before his retirement in September, he decided to issue a blistering official opinion that the pending rule — which would require the agency to ignore or downgrade any medical research that does not expose its raw data — will compromise American public health….”
“The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) independent board of science advisers had harsh words for an agency plan to limit the types of studies it considers when crafting regulations, saying the EPA had failed to justify the need for the policy.
The policy was first proposed by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in 2018 to battle “secret science.” He argued that in order to increase transparency, the agency should limit consideration of studies that don’t share their underlying data….
The SAB’s review is consistent with longstanding criticism of the proposal, as science and medical groups have argued it will lead the EPA to ignore important public health research that must protect the privacy of human subjects….”
“But now, in an attempt to extend solidarity during the coronavirus crisis, JSTOR has announced free access to over 6,000 books and 150 journals. Great news, right? Except it’s not. Twitter users have pointed out that JSTOR has not released any essay that was under paywall; instead, it is just replugging those articles and papers that users already had open access to.
Essentially, JSTOR has simply tried to score brownie points on the back of a deadly virus that has claimed more than 10,000 lives globally. But then, the archival site is not known to be particularly kind to people.
Just for perspective, JSTOR has been unable to bring itself to give academics and researchers open access to ‘publicly sourced’ content at a time when the whole world is under quarantine and going through an unprecedented and unnatural crisis. Then again, it’s also a time to get on the bandwagon and be appreciated for doing nothing….”
“The Interior Department is pushing ahead with a controversial proposal that would prohibit the agency from considering scientific studies that don’t make all of their underlying data public.
Critics argue that the move, described by the agency as an effort to increase transparency, would sideline landmark scientific research, particularly in cases where revealing such data would result in privacy violations.
The proposal, dubbed the Promoting Open Science rule, mirrors a similar effort at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which critics argue would block that agency from considering renowned public health studies….”
Abstract: The terms ‘open’ and ‘openness’ are widely used across the current higher education environment particularly in the areas of repository services and scholarly communications. Open-access licensing and open-source licensing are two prevalent manifestations of open culture within higher education research environments. As theoretical ideals, open-licensing models aim at openness and academic freedom. But operating as they do within the context of global neoliberalism, to what extent are these models constructed by, sustained by, and co-opted by neoliberalism? In this paper, we interrogate the use of open-licensing within scholarly communications and within the larger societal context of neoliberalism. Through synthesis of various sources, we will examine how open access licensing models have been constrained by neoliberal or otherwise corporate agendas, how open access and open scholarship have been reframed within discourses of compliance, how open-source software models and software are co-opted by politico-economic forces, and how the language of ‘openness’ is widely misused in higher education and repository services circles to drive agendas that run counter to actually increasing openness. We will finish by suggesting ways to resist this trend and use open-licensing models to resist neoliberal agendas in open scholarship.