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 USDA prevented the release of a plan for how the agency can effectively respond to the impacts of climate change.


EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler exempted farms from reporting hazardous air emissions from animal waste.


The GAO issued a report on how the EPA has been skirting its own protocols when picking scientific advisory committees.


President Trump issued an Executive Order to rid federal agencies of one-third of their advisory committees, many of which provide scientific advice to federal agencies.


Trump administration officials delayed a USGS press release on climate change for months and then released a highly edited version that removed references to the study’s main findings.


EPA scientists, were not allowed to submit their written comments expressing concerns about the ability of a copper-nickel mine to meet state and federal water standards.


The Department of Health and Human Services under the Trump administration has conducted at least 26 instances of censoring information on various HHS websites.


Under the Trump administration, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has refused to publicize peer-reviewed studies by USDA scientists that show the impacts of climate change.


White House officials stopped scientific information on climate change from being submitted in a written testimony to the House Intelligence Committee.


The EPA is ignoring scientists who say that data does not support its decision that several southeastern Wisconsin counties had not violated air pollution standards.