scientific free speech


Science Must Trump Politics at the USDA, Especially During Turbulent Times

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

It has been a rough week for scientists at federal agencies. As the administration has changed over and new leadership is beginning to find its footing, there has been a flurry of emails and directives coming down to agency staff. There are critical democracy concerns with some of the calls seen at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Transportation, Department of Health and Human Services to halt communication with the media, suspension of social media accounts at the Department of Interior, and hiring and grant and contract freezes at EPA.  Read more >

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The Department of Energy Just Created a Powerful Tool to Protect its Scientists

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

It’s harder to create good science, and to follow the evidence where it leads, when your work can be easily corrupted by political meddling. The Department of Energy has significantly expanded protections for its scientific workforce, the majority of which work in America’s great national laboratories, by finalizing a significantly improved scientific integrity policy. Read more >

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How Is the USDA Doing on Scientific Integrity?

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

In March 2013, the US Department of Agriculture updated its scientific integrity policy, a policy mandated by the Obama Administration for all federal agencies with a significant focus on science. Along with 22 other agencies and departments, the USDA developed a policy in 2011 that the Union of Concerned Scientists assessed to “not make adequate commitments to scientific integrity.” How does the revised policy measure up and does it appear to be working? Read more >

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Where Is the FDA on Social Media and Science?

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

Last week, we released an update to Grading Government Transparency, a report we first released in 2013. The report assesses the media policies and social media policies of 17 government agencies. How much could policy have changed in only two years? A Washington cynic might assume “not much.” But actually, we found significant improvement when it comes to social media at federal agencies. Read more >

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Freedom to Tweet? Government Scientists and the Right to Engage on Social Media

, Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy

Social media has done great things for science. We’ve seen it educate, advocate, and communicate on scientific issues around the world and at an unimaginable speed. Social media has allowed open science to thrive, scientists to connect, and movements to start. It allows us to organize, debate, and discuss breaking news on science-related topics. As my colleague Aaron has said, when Neil deGrasse Tyson has more Twitter followers than Seth Rogen, we know that social media has potential for communication of science. Read more >

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