The public's right to know

Public access to scientific knowledge is essential to a robust democracy. When facts and evidence are available to people, they are empowered to participate effectively in the policy-making process and make informed choices.

Access to information is not only important for making good policy; it can also be critical to public health and safety. In a crisis such as a chemical spill or a nuclear accident, first responders, local officials and other responsible parties often need scientific information in order to take effective action—but access may be blocked by barriers such as corporate trade secrets or needlessly restrictive agency policies.

Learn more:

Transparency and media access

A strong democracy depends on transparency, accountability, and trust in the government. Federal scientists play an important role in fulfilling this mandate by providing critical expertise to decision makers and the American people.

But sometimes the free flow of scientific information is impeded by political or commercial forces, or by an agency's desire to "control the message"—muzzling scientists, blocking media access, and keeping the public in the dark. Strong policies governing external communications serve as the first line of defense against such abuses.

Learn more:

We Need Your Support
to Make Change Happen

We can ensure that decisions about our health, safety, and environment are based on the best available science—but not without you. Your generous support helps develop science-based solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.