Attacks on Science

Attacks on Science


The Trump Administration and 115th Congress have sent clear signals that they intend to dismantle science-based health and safety protections, sideline scientific evidence, and undo recent progress on scientific integrity.

We've seen this movie before. And we know how to fight back. We're standing up for science. We're inviting scientists to securely share information on scientific integrity abuses. And we're encouraging our supporters to watchdog this administration and Congress, as we did during the George W. Bush administration and the Barack Obama administration.

Below is a running list of attacks on science—disappearing data, silenced scientists, and other assaults on scientific integrity and science-based policy. The list provides a representative sample of threats to the federal scientific enterprise.

Beyond this list, many other moves by the president and Congress degrade the environment for science and scientists in this country. For example, the President’s Muslim ban hurts science and scientists, including those working for the federal government and the President’s rescinding transgender protections is damaging to the ability of all young budding scientists to reach their full potential. These actions are also important to document, and we will do so on the UCS blog.

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On March 29, 2017, EPA head Scott Pruitt disregarded robust scientific evidence and announced that he would not ban a pesticide that poses a clear risk to children, farm workers, and rural drinking water users.

The President’s proposed 2018 budget would terminate four essential NASA Earth science missions: PACE, CLARREO Pathfinder, OCO-3, and DSCOVR Earth. Read more >

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is one of our nation’s premiere science agencies and deeply interwoven into the nation’s economy—and yet the Trump administration has proposed deep and damaging cuts to the agency's budget. Read more >

Previously public government data from several agencies has been removed from public view in the early weeks of the Trump administration. Read more >

Scientific content has been changed on several agency websites in the early weeks of the Trump administration—and the alterations share some common themes. Read more >

When EPA contracts and grant awards were frozen for review by political appointees on the Trump transition team shortly after the inauguration, that review included scientific data and studies—which may have violated the agency's scientific integrity policy. Read more >

The EPA's White House transition team cut staff attendance at an annual Alaska environmental conference in half, which had conference attendees wondering about the future of environmental protection for their communities. Read more >

An obscure, radical, and rarely used congressional trick called the Congressional Review Act (CRA) has put crucial victories on public health and the environment at risk. Read more >

President Trump's executive order requiring agencies to rescind two regulations for each new one they promulgate is arbitrary and unreasonable, violates the law, and threatens public health and safety. Read more >

In the first week of the Trump administration, media blackouts were issued across many federal agencies—and science-driven agencies that work on climate change were among the primary targets. Read more >