Scientific Integrity

Scientists shouldn’t have to face pressure or harassment from political figures or institutions—but too often they do. Our experts expose attacks on science across the country.


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Latest Scientific Integrity Posts

Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

SharpieGate in the Broader Context of the Trump Administration’s Attacks on Science

, director, Center for Science & Democracy

Last week, we all learned more about President Trump mis-stating a hurricane forecast then forcing his administration to cover for his obvious error, now widely know as SharpieGate. It is now clear that orders came from the White House that NOAA scientists and other professional staff should not disagree with or contradict the President, even if he is wrong and public health and safety are at stake.  Read more >

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The Biggest Casualty of Trump’s Dorian Deceit: Our Common Bonds

President Trump’s lies to corroborate his false claim that Hurricane Dorian would hit Alabama caused a destructive gale of its own. With this attack on science, Trump ripped at a thread of our nation’s social fabric—the weather.

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REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY – RC1756AD30B0
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Former NOAA Officials File Scientific Integrity Complaint over Trump Attacks on Weather Forecasters

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

Three former high-ranking NOAA officials filed an official complaint yesterday asking for a comprehensive investigation into multiple violations of the NOAA Scientific Integrity Policy. “Recent actions to censor NWS scientists put public safety at risk, are inconsistent with NOAA’s scientific integrity principles, violate the public trust, and compromise the independence and reliability of the National Weather Service.” Read more >

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Photo: UCS

Ask a Scientist: Should Scientists Shy Away from Politics?

, senior writer

Scientists have traditionally been uncomfortable discussing or even acknowledging that science is political, but truth be told, science has long played a vital role in politics. The scientific method is commonly viewed as a process of making observations and answering questions. Once scientists ask fundamental questions and develop hypotheses, they gather data and ask whether the collected evidence aligns with their original hypotheses. This process is called ‘the scientific method’ or scientific inquiry. What policymakers decide to do with the evidence-based results is politics. Think about it this way: Determining whether toxic emissions from an industrial facility harms public health is scientific inquiry. Deciding what action to take do in response to that information is political. Read more >

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NOAA Officials Threatened with Firing After Dorian Trump Tweet Fiasco

, Deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy

Senior NOAA political staff objected to orders to “fix” weather forecasts to conform with the president’s claim that Hurricane Dorian would impact Alabama, the New York Times reports. Then Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross threatened to fire them.

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