Watchdog with UCS: Join the Movement to Stand Up for Science


Attacking federal scientists. Censoring scientific data. Gutting science-based safeguards. These are just a few of the many ways the Trump administration and members of Congress have made clear their disregard for the role of science in our democracy.

The stakes are high—but the UCS Science Network, tapping into the growing energy in the scientific community, is committed to the fight.

Now more than ever, we need scientists to stand up for science! That’s why the UCS Science Network is leading a campaign for scientists and experts to join together in watchdogging for science.

How watchdogs can defend science

The Science Network serves as a home for scientists and other experts to connect, build advocacy skills, and use their expertise for the public good. The Science Network Watchdogs are more than 670 members who, in the aftermath of President Trump’s election, are doing more to defend science—in their local communities, at the state level, and nationally.

Science Network Watchdogs are using their knowledge and passion to push back on attacks on science, and to push for science-informed solutions. Watchdogs are speaking to the media, delivering testimony and public comments, reporting on missing data, creating sign-on letters to officials, exposing misinformation on social media, showing up at town halls, and building relationships with their legislators’ offices.

Winter Season Actions

Personalized stories can help protect science in the budget

As you read this, your legislators are in in the thick of the federal budget process, which is a critical moment when anti-science politicians can sneak in proposals that gut science-based safeguards or cut down critical federal scientific programs that uphold public protections.As a scientist or technical expert, this is the most opportune time for you to educate your senators on just why it's so pivotal to keep science-based programs funded and oppose attempts to sneak in policies that attack science's ability to inform decision-making. Here are three ways to help:

  1. Join other Science Network members throughout the country to write a personalized letter that spotlights the local impacts of your state to call on your legislators to protect science in the federal budget. (See our handout with letter writing tips, a template, sample talking points for you to build on with examples of local impacts to your state or field of research.)
  2. Want to have a greater impact? Deliver your letter in person at a local office via an in-district meeting—our how-to guide for visiting a nearby office will make it easy. And, if you have questions or want further guidance, email us and we’ll personally follow up.
  3. Want to get involved, but not a fan of writing? Call the local office of your senators and talk to them about protecting science in the budget.

The tools and support to get involved

The Science Network Watchdogging campaign offers ways to stay informed and connected, opportunities to take action both nationally and locally, and tools and resources for scientists to boost their influence and effectiveness. Sign up to become a watchdog, and get updates on resources like these:

  • Bi-monthly online conferences (like this one) give Watchdogs a chance to connect and get news on the latest threats to science.
  • LinkedIn and @SciNetUCS Twitter communities offer scientists a place to connect, support each other, and share news, resources, and opportunities.
  • Seasonal, skills-building webinars build your strength in science communications and advocacy.
  • The Science for the Public Good Fund provides needed financial support to Science Network Watchdogs planning local campaigns.

For more watchdogging resources and opportunities, check out our Watchdog Toolkit page.

Scientist watchdogs in action

Science Network Watchdogs are making a difference right now:

  • Check out blog posts from retired USDA scientist Mike Haas and disaster-prevention researcher Joyce Levine on the indispensable value of federal research free from political interference.
  • Scientists are helping to prevent bad bills like the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) from passing in the Senate. Watchdogs have organized more than 10 meetings with legislators, made hundreds of calls, and published letters in local newspapers to remind them that the RAA would undermine the science-based process for public protections—with serious consequences for the health, safety, and environment of their districts. 
  • Read this op-ed that was placed in Montana newspapers spotlighting the real dangers of the RAA to children’s health.

We Need Your Support
to Make Change Happen

We can ensure that decisions about our health, safety, and environment are based on the best available science—but not without you. Your generous support helps develop science-based solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.