With apologies to Mac Hyman …and Andy Griffith
Leaders at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are proposing elimination of the Bureau of Science Services within the department.
In a Feb. 25 email, Scott Hull, a section chief in the Bureau of Science Services, asked Mark Aquino, director of the agency’s Office of Business Support and Science, for clarification on remarks made by Secretary Cathy Stepp on a radio show about possible budget cuts and personnel changes for the bureau.
In his Feb. 26 response, Aquino informed Hull that the agency “will go through some form of organizational change that will result in not having a Bureau of Science Services, in an effort to address the legislative perception of research not being well aligned with program needs.”
The agency’s Bureau of Science Services has recently drawn criticism from state Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst. Tiffany criticized a bureau report on environmental concerns surrounding the now-defunct plan from Gogebic Taconite to build an open-pit iron mine in northwestern Wisconsin. He said the report was biased against the mine.
Tiffany also told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he was not supportive of the bureau doing research related to climate change because the science behind global warming is still “theoretical.”
According to the article, supporters of the Governor’s proposed cuts to the DNR Science Bureau argued that some of the scientific analysis could be undertaken by UW. To me this seems highly unlikely to occur given impending cuts to state funding of the UW system, in addition to the fact that the type of research conducted by DNR is substantially different from basic research conducted at the University (as discussed in the article).
Update: In another advance for open dialog, the words “climate change” cannot be included in discussions by certain Wisconsin state employees, at the behest of the Wisconsin State Treasurer (currently a Republican). See Bloomberg.
Update, 4/9 8:40AM Pacific: I thought this approach to science reminded me of some other event. Then I remembered — see here.