Scientific Integrity Act Would Protect Science, Advance Public Health

Statement by Dr. Jennifer Jones, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Jul 25, 2023

WASHINGTON (July 25, 2023)—Today, a bipartisan group of U.S. representatives is introducing the Scientific Integrity Act, a bill that would require federal agencies that fund, conduct or oversee scientific research to establish and maintain clear and enforceable scientific integrity policies. This bill would help ensure that policymaking is based on the best available science and protect scientific research, done on behalf of the public, from political interference. It’s an important bill that Congress should pass immediately, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Dr. Jennifer Jones, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS.

“Much of the federal government’s work depends on science—work such as tracking dangerous storms, analyzing the impacts of pollution, and protecting the public from infectious diseases like COVID-19. Lives depend on federal agencies using the best available science. Unfortunately, U.S. history contains far too many cases of science being suppressed, manipulated and sidelined due to the political pressure and the influence of powerful industries. Federal scientific integrity standards can protect against that.

“Today, agencies across the federal government are implementing their own scientific integrity policies, based on a strong framework from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. This will help protect the scientific research and analysis we all depend on. But those policies are vulnerable to future political changes, and we’ve seen the consequences of administrations refusing to listen to science. The best way to ensure these policies continue to work in the years to come is for Congress to make scientific integrity the law of the land.”

Below is a statement by Anita Desikan, senior analyst at the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS.

“Efforts to undermine or weaken federal science don’t just affect scientists—they endanger all of us who depend on honest and reliable scientific information from federal agencies, especially the Black, Brown, and low-income people who bear the biggest impacts from public health threats like air pollution. Every administration since the 1950s violated scientific integrity, and we’ve tracked more than 300 attacks on science since 2000. Congress must pass the Scientific Integrity Act and prevent abuses like these from undermining public health and the public’s trust.”

Desikan has written a new blog post on the importance of passing the Scientific Integrity Act.