The Union of Concerned Scientists has just published a paper on science and governmental regulatory bodies and policy advisory panels.
The United States has enjoyed prosperity and health in large part because of its strong and sustained commitment to independent science. As the nation facesnew challenges at home and growing competitiveness abroad, the need for a robust federal scientific enterprise remains critical. Unfortunately,an epidemic of political interference in federal science threatens this legacy, promising serious and wide-ranging consequences.Political interference in science has penetrated deeply into the culture and practices of federal agencies. These systemic problems cannot be resolved quickly or simply. Leadership and an unwavering commitment to scientific integrity from our next president, continued oversight from the legislative branch, and the persistent and energetic engagement of many different stakeholders are critical. The balance of poweramong the three branches of government should be restored, to enable each to playits part in keeping science independent.This interference in science threatens ournation’s ability to respond to complex challenges to public health, the environment, and national security. It risks demoralizing the federal scientific workforce and raises the possibility of lastingharm to the federal scientific enterprise. Most important, it betrays public trust in our government and undermines the democratic principles upon which this nation was founded.