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 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.


Politico obtained data showing that, in a two-year period, the DOI had given offshore oil drillers 1,679 waivers to regulations that tested the safety of equipment


The EPA and Texas authorities stopped NASA scientists from sampling air pollution data after Hurricane Harvey.


HHS issued a rule that significantly alters the Title X program, the federal grant program that supports family planning services for low-income individuals.


DOJ officials have refused to retract a report that contained misleading errors, which implied a link between terrorism and immigration.

Scientists warned that the use of seismic surveys in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge could further threaten the polar bear population. Officials at the BLM and DOI are opening up the refuge to oil exploration.


The Trump administration has ordered NIH scientists to stop acquiring new human fetal tissue for use in research experiments directly affecting three NIH laboratories' experiments.