The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) announced at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union that a statement by Nobel laureates and other leading scientists calling for the restoration of scientific integrity to federal policy making has now been signed by 10,600 scientists from all 50 states. The director of the UCS Scientific Integrity Program called on the new Congress to “enact meaningful reforms so decisions within federal scientific agencies and advisory committees are based on objective and unbiased science.” Climate Science Watch will call the new Congress’ attention to how this principle should be applied to holding the Administration accountable for ensuring the integrity of communication about climate change research.
While we were recently taking a break from posting our friends at UCS came out with this announcement:
Union of Concerned Scientists news release
10,600 Scientists Condemn Political Interference in Science
New Guide Documents Ongoing Federal Abuse of Science; 110th Congress Must Act
Statement: Restoring Scientific Integrity in Policymaking
The statement includes the folowing:
Although scientific input to the government is rarely the only factor in public policy decisions, this input should always be weighed from an objective and impartial perspective to avoid perilous consequences. Indeed, this principle has long been adhered to by presidents and administrations of both parties in forming and implementing policies. The administration of George W. Bush has, however, disregarded this principle.
When scientific knowledge has been found to be in conflict with its political goals, the administration has often manipulated the process through which science enters into its decisions. This has been done by placing people who are professionally unqualified or who have clear conflicts of interest in official posts and on scientific advisory committees; by disbanding existing advisory committees; by censoring and suppressing reports by the governments own scientists; and by simply not seeking independent scientific advice. Other administrations have, on occasion, engaged in such practices, but not so systematically nor on so wide a front. Furthermore, in advocating policies that are not scientifically sound, the administration has sometimes misrepresented scientific knowledge and misled the public about the implications of its policies.
Who are the 10,000+ scientists?
Initially signed by 62 leading scientists, the statement now bears the signature of more than 10,000 scientists from all 50 states and several U.S. territories, including 52 Nobel laureates, 62 National Medal of Science winners, 194 members of the National Academies of Science, and science advisors to both Republican and Democratic presidents dating back to Eisenhower.
Prominent Statement Signatories
Signers of the scientists’ statement on scientific integrity include 49 Nobel laureates, 63 National Medal of Science recipients, and 175 members of the National Academies.
The A to Z Guide to Political Interference in Science
In recent years, scientists who work for and advise the federal government have seen their work manipulated, suppressed, distorted, while agencies have systematically limited public and policy maker access to critical scientific information. To document this abuse, the Union of Concerned Scientists has created the A to Z Guide to Political Interference in Science.
See the “A to Z” items on Climate Change, Hurricanes, and James Hansen.
Send a comment on the entry to [redacted]