Dems introduce bill to protect science research from political interference

Dems introduce bill to protect science research from political interference
© Greg Nash

Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzState probes of Google, Facebook to test century-old antitrust laws Trump's sinking polls embolden Democrats to play hardball Hundreds of Bahamians told to leave evacuation ship headed to US: report MORE (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Paul TonkoPaul David TonkoDemocrats ramp up calls to investigate NOAA Schumer slams Ross for 'thuggish behavior' over reportedly threatening to fire officials Overnight Energy: Democrats call for Ross to resign over report he threatened NOAA officials | Commerce denies report | Documents detail plan to decentralize BLM | Lawmakers demand answers on bee-killing pesticide MORE (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation on Thursday to prevent political interference with public science research amid what they called "President TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat MORE's multi-agency assault."

The lawmakers said in a press release that political interference has been a "longstanding concern that has taken on newfound urgency" in the current administration. 

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Provisions in the "Science Integrity Act" intend to make it so that political considerations do not factor into scientific conclusions, to prohibit the suppression of scientific findings and to allow scientists to answer media inquiries about their work without prior agency approval.

“Independent, rigorous scientific research is one of the most powerful tools we have for advancing the public interest and keeping the American people safe,” Tonko said in the statement. 

“President Trump’s multi-agency assault on environmental standards has hinged on efforts to distort, bury and even rewrite credible public scientific findings, including his absurd denial of the growing climate crisis and efforts to cover up evidence that the American people are being exposed to dangerous toxins," he added. 

Schatz in the statement said that we are facing "unprecedented times" for science.  

"While it’s not the first time it has been under attack, this time feels worse," he said. "That’s why we need to answer the call of our times and stand up for science.”