The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fired its top scientist by email after he asked Trump administration appointees to respect the agency’s science ethics policy, The New York Times reports.
Craig McLean, the acting chief scientist at NOAA sent an email last month to new employees appointed by Donald Trump asking them to respect the agency’s rules that prohibit changing scientific data to fit a political narrative.
Dr. Erik Noble, the newly appointed NOAA chief who previously served as a White House policy adviser responded, “Respectfully, by what authority are you sending this to me?”. McLean answered that it was part of his job to ensure that the agency’s ethics policies are observed, according to The Times.
The next day, Noble fired McLean via email writing: “You no longer serve as the acting chief scientist for NOAA. Thank you for your service.”
McLean was replaced by Ryan Maue, a man who questioned projections about humans’ impact on climate change.
McLean’s worry about Trump administration officials changing scientific data aren’t unfounded. Last year, Trump famously used a sharpie on an official NOAA chart to alter the path of Hurricane Dorian to validate his lies about the path of the storm.