In an administration skilled in myth making, science suffers.
Consider findings from the Union of Concerned Scientists, a non-profit advocacy organization that surveyed thousands of scientific experts in the federal government. The first line of its new report paints a dismal picture of the place science holds under President Trump:
“A year and a half into the Trump administration, its record on science policy in several agencies and departments is abysmal.”
There are a couple of bright spots in the administration, however, so all is not lost. But responses from 4,200 scientists in 16 agencies present an alarming record of “studies cancelled, public-facing information altered or removed from websites, and scientists coming under political pressure.” Self-censorship, staffing cuts, low morale and management issues make the problem worse.
“At several federal agencies and departments, scientists reported that political and capacity pressures are compromising their ability to protect public health and the environment,” said Jacob Carter, a co-author of the report and a research scientist with the Union’s Center for Science and Democracy. “In many of the critical science agencies—especially the agencies that handle environmental regulation—scientists reported that they are having trouble doing their jobs because of political interference, staff reductions and a lack of qualified leadership.” [Continue reading…]