EDITORIAL

Obfuscating with transparency

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Science  13 Apr 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6385, pp. 133
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat8121

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Summary

Transparency is critical when it comes to decision-making that broadly affects the public, particularly when it comes to policies purported to be grounded in scientific evidence. The scientific community has been increasingly focused on improving the transparency of research through initiatives that represent good-faith efforts to enhance the robustness of scientific findings and to increase access to and utility of data that underlie research. Yet, concerns about transparency associated with scientific results continue to emerge in political discussions. Most recently in the United States, a new proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would eliminate the use of publications in its policy discussions for which all underlying data are not publicly available. Here, a push for transparency appears actually to be a mechanism for suppressing important scientific evidence in policy-making, thereby threatening the public's well-being.