Trump Political Appointees Interfere in Scientific Grants Process

Published Jan 11, 2018

The Department of Interior (DOI) has directed political appointees to begin reviewing discretionary grants to make sure that they align with the priorities of the Trump administration. The directive is being strictly enforced. 

What Happened: The Department of Interior (DOI) is instructing heads of offices to sign-off on discretionary grants to make sure that the work they are proposing aligns with 10 priorities as set by the Trump administrations.

Why it Matters: Scientific work is often undertaken because there is a gap in our knowledge system that needs to be filled. This gap in knowledge often dictates the questions asked in a scientific study, the hypotheses formed, and the materials and methods used to answer those questions. Therefore, a decree that research must align with specific priorities wholly undercuts the scientific process and impacts the intellectual merit of the science being conducted.