Industry Funding Makes for Weird Science

A study in the September 2007 issue of the journal Ecological Complexity claims that concerns of global warming's impact on polar bears are "highly premature." But the study wasn't peer reviewed, and it was funded by ExxonMobil. "If the polar bear is listed under the Endangered Species Act, steps to protect its habitat could directly hurt ExxonMobil's economic interests," notes New Scientist. Alaska used the study to argue against protections for the polar bear. In other science news, the Environmental Protection Agency has "awarded two grants to develop tests to measure toxic chemical exposure risk to non-profit research institutes indirectly supported by companies that make the chemicals." One grant went to the Hamner Institutes, which is "almost entirely funded by chemical and pharmaceutical companies" and counts the American Chemistry Council among its major supporters. The other EPA grant went to the Chemical Industry Institute of Technology, which is part of Hamner, along with the LifeLine Group, which has ties to Monsanto.