The Trump Administration Spent 2017 Undermining And Abandoning Science Advice, According To A New Report

Make America Think Again. Mark Reinstein/Shutterstock

Robin Andrews 19 Jan 2018, 19:37

All of these are previously known factors, but seeing them – and far more – in one place makes for some gut-wrenching reading. The language of the report also speaks volumes: Federal agencies are showing a “pattern of neglect and disrespect”, while the EPA is “eroding impartial science advice”.

One good piece of news is that this assault on science and scientists themselves has inspired a veritable uprising. The UCS report points this out, explaining that “the administration’s actions are spurring strong responses from elected officials, the scientific community, and the general public.”

Academics are running for Congress with a real chance at winning, climate researchers without a purpose in the US have found Europe waiting for them with both funds and open arms, and the rest of the planet has signed up to the Paris agreement, despite the White House’s rejection of it.

States, businesses, and cities are signing low-carbon deals with others parts of the world, while some are even taking legal action against the fossil fuel industry. Congress has somehow managed to buffer federal agencies from most of the draconian funding cuts proposed by the Trump administration. People are literally marching in the streets to defend science.

"Through his cabinet picks for EPA, the Interior Department and the Energy Department it’s clear the President would rather listen to the fossil fuel industry than those with scientific training and expertise," Shaughnessy Naughton, the President of 314 Action, told IFLScience.

"This report is further proof that he’s willing to silence scientists in favor of special interests. If the President wants some real science advice come November, he should look no further than our endorsed candidates who will be leading the charge for evidence-based policy making in Congress."

By all accounts, 2018 is going to be another year in which federal science is pushed firmly to the side. You know what they say, though: darkness rises, and light to meet it.


Science advocacy has never been more important.

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