02.10.17

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Moves to Protect Scientists from Political Interference

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, along with more than two dozen Democratic senators, introduced the Scientific Integrity Act to protect government scientists from political interference.

The legislation comes in the wake of recent reports that Trump Administration officials had placed gag orders on employees at the EPA. 

“Attempts from politicians to prevent our scientists from sharing factual and independently discovered scientific findings are simply wrong and not acceptable in our democracy,” said Senator Baldwin. “This legislation will ensure that the public has access to federally funded research and that our laws and policies are based on accurate information found by independent scientists, free from outside influences.”

Among other things, the legislation (S.338) would:

  • Reaffirm the principle of open communication of scientific findings and prevent the suppression of scientific findings.
  • Ensure that scientists are allowed to communicate their findings with the public, press, and Congress.
  • Direct federal agencies to develop scientific integrity policies that include whistleblower protections.
  • Require scientific integrity policies to be posted online and given to all new hires.

Since November, more than 5,000 scientists, including many Nobel Prize winners, have signed an open letter urging President Trump and Congress to preserve scientific integrity.

The legislation was led by Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and was also joined by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Mark Warner (D-VA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Al Franken (D-MN), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).