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Scientist advocacy group blasts Trump for ‘abysmal’ record on science policy

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A national science advocacy group attacked President Trump for an “abysmal” record on science policy in a new report.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) wrote in a recently released report that “a year and a half into the Trump administration, its record on science policy in several agencies and departments is abysmal.”

“Evidence rolls in daily that this administration is undermining long-established processes for science to inform public policy,” the group wrote. “Regulated industries possess increasing power to influence what science is used in policymaking, while public voices are increasingly excluded.”

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UCS surveyed scientists at 16 federal agencies for the report, titled “Science Under Trump.” The report found that the agencies face challenges including “political interference in scientists’ work, low morale, decreased agency effectiveness, and dwindling resources.”

The report found that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been particularly impacted by the Trump administration. More than 90 percent of EPA scientists participating in the survey said the agency’s workforce had been reduced over the past year.

“When federal scientists can’t carry out their work, it’s the public that suffers,” said Charise Johnson, a UCS research analyst who helped carry out the survey, in a press release. “When you can’t research threats and share accurate information with the public, there are real consequences.”

During his presidential campaign and since he took office, Trump has questioned the consensus of scientists on climate change, calling it a hoax.

Last year, Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris climate change agreement, snubbing the hundreds of nations who agreed to the first major worldwide agreement tackling climate change and severely walking back former President Obama’s environmental agenda.

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