Publications: The Endangered Species Act & “Sound Science”

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  July-August 2013:

The Endangered Species Act & “Sound Science” by M. Lynne Corn,  Kristina Alexander,  & Eugene Buck Congressional Research Service,  2013.  Free download from <www.crs.gov>

This 30-page document summarizes controversies over alleged “junk science” used in determining the endangered species status of Canada lynx,  hatchery-raised salmon,  Stellar sea lions,  gray wolves in the eastern states,  and endangered species issues pertaining to climate change.  

Allegations of scientific misconduct were involved in some of these cases;  allegations of political interference in publication of scientific data in others.  In each case,  whatever actually happened was rapidly magnified by politicians and commentators who have portrayed the Endangered Species Act from inception as a violation of private property rights.  

“Incomplete data,  different interpret-ations among scientists,  and evolving disciplines in science can make the consideration of relevant science challenging for the regulatory agencies,”  the authors observe,  but conclude that despite the contentions of partisans,  “outright scientific misconduct is exceedingly rare.”

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