March 13, 2019

Scientific Integrity Act Would Be an Important Step Forward for Science, Health

Statement by Andrew Rosenberg, Union of Concerned Scientists

WASHINGTON (March 13, 2019)—Today, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) introduced the Scientific Integrity Act, which would protect federal government scientists from political interference. The legislation would help to ensure that the public benefits from the best available science from government agencies, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS and a former National Marine Fisheries Service regional director.

“Federal scientists work on issues ranging from food safety to weather monitoring to medical research. Their findings can benefit the economy, public health and safety, and the environment. Unfortunately, federal scientists have often seen their work ignored or manipulated for political ends.

“The Scientific Integrity Act would protect scientists from political interference, and make sure that they can carry out their research and share it without fear of retaliation. It would prevent political appointees from altering or suppressing scientific findings and make sure the best available science informs policy.

“Scientists should be able to follow their research wherever it leads, and speak honestly about it to the press, the scientific community and the public. This isn’t just for scientists—federal science is a public service, and the public deserves to know about the research being done on their behalf. Congress should pass the Scientific Integrity Act so that not just this administration, but future administrations, can be held to the highest standards.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.