Silencing Scientists: A Recent History

In this installment of the Undark Five, Gretchen Goldman, research director for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, discusses how President Trump’s clampdown on communication from federal agencies compares to actions taken during the Bush and Obama administrations.

Just Warming Up

Scientists say the stakes for climate research have never been higher. But by questioning employees of the Department of Energy and installing climate skeptics and fossil fuel executives to lead the EPA and serve as Secretary of State, Donald Trump’s administration is gearing up to rally against it.

Quarreling Over Coal Ash

Coal ash — a byproduct of coal combustion — can carry contaminants like lead, mercury and arsenic, and much of it is stored in ponds that research suggests can pollute nearby water sources. New laws are improving matters, but pitched battles between utilities and environmental groups continue.

Hot Garbage

Lawmakers in Missouri are angling to replace the EPA as manager of a Superfund site, which they say is threatened by a slow-burning chemical fire in an adjacent landfill in north St. Louis county. The EPA suggests those concerns are overblown.