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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EPA is conducting risk assessments on chemicals without considering the risk of exposure in air emissions, drinking water, and waste products.


The EPA disbanded a panel of experts that advised leadership on air pollutants that are especially harmful to human health.


USGS scientists who want to attend scientific conferences are required to justify how their research relates to Secretary Zinke's 10 priorities.


The DOI issued an order, claiming to practice an “open science” policy that can restrict the use of scientific evidence in policy decision.


A federal database that compiled the best medical guidelines out there, shut down its online database due to a lack of funds from the Trump administration and Congress.


In January, the DHS announced that it is waiving 25 environmental, natural resource, and land management laws in order to expediate the construction of President Trump’s border wall.


The USDA canceled an assessment in Minnesota meant to study the effects of establishing sulfide-ore copper mines near one of the state’s most fragile wilderness areas.


A report by the DOE used erroneous calculations in order to justify conclusions that coal power plants are essential during severe winter conditions.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is currently reassessing the status of the American burying beetle on the endangered species list.


The DOE issued an order in mid-May that outlined new limits on an independent oversight board, which assesses safety concerns at nuclear facilities.