Attacks on Science

Published Jan 20, 2017 Updated Jul 13, 2021

Science is at the core of a healthy democracy. But for years, presidential administrations have, in differing ways, sidelined scientific evidence and attacked scientific integrity.

Below is a running list of attacks on science. They include disappearing data, silenced scientists, suppressed studies, and other assaults on science-based policy. The list provides a representative sample of threats to the federal scientific enterprise—and a warning of what we face in the future.

Attacks on science

The top of a barbed wire fence.

CDC Scientists Sidelined in Decision to Seal US Border

The White House ordered the CDC to use their emergency powers to effectively seal the US borders in March, overruling the agency’s scientists who said there was no evidence the action would slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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