Attacks on Science

The Trump administration and 115th Congress have been actively dismantling science-based health and safety protections, sidelining scientific evidence, and undoing 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 continue do so on the UCS blog.

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The White House issued a memo on the use of scientific information by federal agencies that restricts the use of scientific information to inform policies.


EPA issued a rule that only restricted the import of asbestos, providing a regulated pathway for industry to use asbestos-containing products in the US.


Leaders from the FWS issued a directive instructing officials to delist, downlist, or otherwise preclude 30 species each year from the endangered species list.


A USDA issued memo requires scientists to label their peer-reviewed publications as “preliminary,” a label that could inaccurately cast doubt on the studies.


In 20 US states EPA no longer uses the technology best supported by science to monitor NOx pollution.


The Trump administration has defunded a successful science-based conservation program known as Landscape Conservation Cooperatives.


The DOI failed to consider 18 memos from scientists who had raised concerns about proposed oil and gas operations in Alaska.


EPA has stalled research on a program that carries out scientific studies which assess the toxicity risks of chemicals to human health.


DOI blocked a report that identified two pesticides as threats to more than 1,200 endangered animals and plants.


The CMS, has approved numerous state plans to implement a work requirement for Medicaid participants.