Scientist Survey 2018

We asked federal scientists what it’s like to work in the Trump administration. Their answers point to widespread, serious problems that should concern all of us.


Strong Leadership Makes for Satisfied Federal Scientists: A Case Study at the FDA

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

As our research team was analyzing the results of our newest federal scientist survey that was released earlier this week, it was heartening to see that at some agencies, like at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the job satisfaction and ability to work appear to be even better than in years past. One of the best characterizations of the sentiments expressed by FDA scientists is this quote from a respondent: “The current administration has overall enforced certain science policies which harm the public in general. However, the current commissioner is fantastic and committed to the FDA’s mission. He is consistently involved in policy development which allows the protection and promotion of public health.” Read more >

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Is Scientific Integrity Safe at the USDA?

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Science is critical to everything the US Department of Agriculture does—helping farmers produce a safe, abundant food supply, protecting our soil and water for the future, and advising all of us about good nutrition to stay healthy. I recently wrote about the Trump administration’s new USDA chief scientist nominee, Scott Hutchins, and the conflicts he would bring from a career narrowly focused on developing pesticides for Dow.

But meanwhile, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue last week abruptly announced a proposed reorganization of the USDA’s research agencies. This move has implications for whoever takes up the post of chief scientist—as do new survey findings released yesterday, which suggest that the Trump administration is already having detrimental effects on science and scientists at the USDA. Read more >

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We Surveyed Thousands of Federal Scientists. Here are Some Potential Reasons Why the Response Rate Was Lower than Usual

, research scientist, Center for Science and Democracy

In February and March of this year, the Union of Concerned Scientists, in partnership with Iowa State University’s Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology, sent a survey to over 63,000 federal career staff across 16 federal agencies, offices, and bureaus. Our goal was to give scientists a voice on the state of science under the Trump administration as we had during previous administrations. Read more >

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UCS Survey Shows Interior Department is Worse Than We Thought—And That’s Saying Something

, Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Democracy

Can scientific staff at the US Department of the Interior rest easy knowing that their colleagues at other agencies have it worse when it comes to political interference?

Survey says: Nope. Read more >

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The Results of Our 2018 Federal Scientists Survey

, research scientist, Center for Science and Democracy

In February and March of this year, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) conducted a survey of federal scientists to ask about the state of science over the past year, and the results are in. Scientists and their work are being hampered by political interference, workforce reductions, censorship, and other issues, but the federal scientific workforce is resilient and continuing to stand up for the use of science in policy decisions. Read more >

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