Science in the Gulf, NPR Science Friday, August 20, 2010:
FLATOW, HOST: Yeah, let me to go the phones, Darren(ph) in College Station, Texas. Hi, Darren.
DARREN (Caller): Hello, Ira.
FLATOW: Hi, there.
DARREN: I'm an adjunct professor here at A&M, and we were also in the Gulf, but got thrown out. We were testing a theory that the chemical composition of the dispersant they were using was causing the oil to sink. And we'd been there for approximately three days, and federal agents flat told us to get out. And it wasn't Fish and Wildlife officers. These were Homeland Security officers, and we were told that it was in the interest of national security.
CARY NELSON, president, American Association of University Professors,: I mean, I could see restricting access so that 500 people shouldn't be able to ride their dune buggies along the beach, but reputable scientists should have access.
FLATOW: Darren, did take your samples away or anything - take anything away from you?
DARREN: Oh, yeah, they inspected the boat. They, of course, checked everyone's identification, and they took all the samples that we had. And they also took some notes that we had. The theory that we were operating upon was information that had been given to us by someone who worked in the plant that made that dispersant. And they took everything.
Prof. NELSON: Ira, it's really kind of an insane world that we've entered into in terms of the barring of reputable scientists from a public site where they can contribute considerably to the knowledge that we have.
FLATOW: Dr. D'Elia, do you know of other cases like Darren's?
Dr. CHRISTOPHER D'ELIA, professor and dean, School of The Coast and Environment, Louisiana State University: Yes, I've heard of other cases...
See the report here.