This section provides an overview of how and why the practice of science related to Yellowstone grizzly bears has become corrupt. At the roots are pressures on US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team to serve political masters, particularly the governors of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, the corrupting influences of money, a fundamental lack of transparency, and groupthink among agency scientists.
Partisan Science 1
Partisan Scientists in Public Service I: The Strange Case of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team
Dr. David Mattson
This piece provides important context and a summary of how the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) manipulated grizzly bear science to promote their agenda to strip endangered species protections from Yellowstone grizzly bears, and to dodge issues raised in a 2009 court ruling that restored federal protections to grizzlies after an initial 2007 attempt by the FWS delist Yellowstone's grizzlies. Federal courts overturned the government decision to delist grizzlies largely because of scientific inadequacies. This piece provides an overview of relevant politics, personalities, and the motives of FWS and IGBST to politicize science to serve political masters like WY Gov. Matt Mead.
Partisan Science 2
Partisan Scientists in Public Service II: The Strange Case of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team
Dr. David Mattson
This piece expands on issues introduced in Partisan Science l, delving into drivers of partisan behavior among scientists belonging to the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST), including: self-delusion, "group-think," a government monopoly on data and information, lack of replication of results, politicization of peer review, corrupting influences of money, and the business model of science within the US Geological Survey. Recommendations include: requiring that the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) and IGBST personnel take classes in civics, sociology and the philosophy of science, making all data freely available, holding off on delisting till more reliable science is in place, evaluating the efficacy of peer review, chastising those who have overstepped bounds of ethical behavior, and proceeding with more caution and humility.
The Problem of Transparency
This piece examines secrecy surrounding the production and use of science in management of Yellowstone grizzly bears. It discusses the government's refusal to release raw data on grizzly bears, and why that is important in a functioning democracy. Further, it rebuts government claims about why it cannot release the data -- including claims that the careers of government scientists, including IGBST leader Frank Van Manen, would be ruined if he had to release the data. (A film documenting this statement is included). The piece concludes: "we as a society may fight about the wisdom of delisting, but we can surely agree on the wisdom of a transparent government. We should have access to the data we paid for, about an animal that we all care about."