This report, a joint project of the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, finds that US states lack the policies and laws needed to safeguard science at government agencies from manipulation and politicization.
The first-of-its-kind report reveals three broad trends in political interference in science at state and local agencies, including: the suppression of important data, such as climate change impacts or COVID-19 infection rates; political officials intimidating or censoring scientists or pressuring them to alter or remove findings; and ignoring scientific data, or relying on junk science, to make regulatory and policy decisions.
The report calls on state legislatures and executive branches to implement scientific integrity rules, protect government experts from politically motivated removal, reduce conflicts of interest, and other measures to restore trust in the messages and actions taken by leaders at the state level. It also lays out measures the federal government can take to raise standards for the work state agencies perform in conjunction with federal mandates.
Download the full report here.
Kinsella, Martha, Mira Ortegon, Jacob Carter, Andrew Rosenberg, and Daniel I. Weiner. 2023. Safeguarding Science in State Agencies. New York, NY: Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law and Union of Concerned Scientists. Cambridge, MA: Union of Concerned Scientists. https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/policy-solutions/safeguarding-science-state-agencies