Paul D. Thacker

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Paul D. Thacker, sometimes bylined as Paul Thacker, is an American journalist who specializes in science, medicine, and environmental reporting, as well as photoshop.[citation needed] He has written for Science, Journal of the American Medical Association,, and The New Republic, and Environmental Science & Technology. In 2009, he was working on the Senate Finance Committee for Republican Senator Chuck Grassley investigating medical research conflicts of interest.[1] He has been interviewed on programs such as Fox News Sunday, and CNN Headline News. He left Congress in 2010, the day before releasing a report on ghostwriting in a medical journal run by American Heart Association.[2]

In 2006, he won 2nd place in the annual awards presented by the US Society of Environmental Journalists.[3] That same year, Thacker’s work was profiled on Exposé: America's Investigative Reports.[4]

In September 2006, Thacker wrote a story for Salon that reported on political suppression of climate science within the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) during the G.W. Bush presidency.[5] The agency sits within the Department of Commerce. Chuck Fuqua, an official in Commerce, was choosing which NOAA scientists could speak to the press about the link between global warming and hurricanes. Fuqua has no training in science.

One of the documents Thacker found was released by the office of Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman.[6] Based partly on Thacker’s reporting, 14 Senators launched an investigation into NOAA and NASA.

In 2005, he pointed out that commentator Steven J. Milloy had judged the 2004 science journalism contest put on by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The contest is widely cited as the most prestigious prize in science journalism. Milloy is a science columnist for Fox News who has been a lobbyist for the EOP group and who headed up The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), an industry front created by Big Tobacco. Milloy also runs a couple of non-profits from his home that receive money from Exxon-Mobil. After Thacker revealed Milloy’s ties to industry, AAAS removed any mention of Milloy from its Web site, but Thacker saved a copy of the Web page, which can be found in his story.[7][8]

Thacker also reported on a product defense company called The Weinberg Group. In the story, Thacker wrote about a letter that The Weinberg Group sent to DuPont outlining a plan to protect DuPont from litigation and regulation over Teflon.[9] The Weinberg Group had done similar work for Big Tobacco and is currently working in Europe to defeat alcohol regulations.[10]


  1. ^ Wadman M (2009), "Money in biomedicine: The senator's sleuth", Nature, 461 (7262): 330–334, doi:10.1038/461330a, PMID 19759593. 
  2. ^ Arnold M (2010), "Grassley's Ghostwriter Exits the Hill" (PDF), Medical Marketing & Media 
  3. ^ Winners: SEJ 6th Annual Awards for Reporting on the Environment
  4. ^ Science Fiction, WNET
  5. ^ Climate-controlled White House,
  6. ^ Rep. Waxman Releases Internal Commerce Department E-Mails on Climate Change, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
  7. ^ Thacker, Paul D. (2005-05-11), "The junkman climbs to the top" (PDF), Environmental Science and Technology, 40 (6) 
  8. ^ Thacker, Paul D. (2005), "In search of Mr. Junk Science and his influence" (PDF), SEJournal, 15 (2), retrieved 2007-07-09 
  9. ^ The Weinberg Proposal, Environmental Science & Technology, 22 Feb 2006
  10. ^ "A European Alcohol Strategy" (PDF). British Medical Journal. doi:10.1136/ 

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