Abandoned Science, Broken Promises

How the Trump Administration’s Neglect of Science Is Leaving Marginalized Communities Further Behind

Anita Desikan, Jacob Carter, Shea Kinser, Gretchen Goldman

Published Oct 23, 2019


The Trump administration has put overburdened communities in danger by systematically pushing science out of the policymaking process.

Communities of color, Indigenous communities, and low-income communities have always borne disproportionate impacts from environmental problems. But the Trump administration is dismantling environmental and public-health policies, and the science these policies depend on, at an unprecedented rate—exacerbating existing inequities and opening the door to even greater harm.

The administration is also shutting community voices out of the policymaking process and denying communities critical information, making it more difficult for them to advocate for policies that could improve their health and safety.

But disenfranchised communities are pushing back, using information, data, and research expertise to encourage decisionmakers to prioritize policies that safeguard neighborhoods across the nation. Scientists can and should be a partner in these efforts.

Our report, prepared with contributions from Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (t.e.j.a.s) and Clean Power Lake County, documents the ways in which the administration's attacks on science are harming marginalized communities, highlights some of the actions communities are taking to fight back and protect themselves, and offers recommendations for federal, state, and local policymakers as well as scientists and technical experts.


Desikan, Anita, Jacob Carter, Shea Kinser, and Gretchen Goldman. 2019. Abandoned Science, Broken Promises: How the Trump Administration’s Neglect of Science Is Leaving Marginalized Communities Further Behind. Cambridge, MA: Union of Concerned Scientists. https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/abandoned-science-broken-promises