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 SchatzBullock: Running for Senate 'never really got me excited' Cruz asks Trump FAA pick to 'be pissed off' about Boeing crash deaths San Francisco becomes first city to ban facial recognition technology MORE (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Paul TonkoPaul David TonkoOvernight Energy: Dems press Interior chief to embrace climate action | Lawmakers at odds on how to regulate chemicals in water | Warren releases climate plan for military Lawmakers at odds over how to tackle spread of harmful chemicals in water States fight Trump rollback of Obama lightbulb rules MORE (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation on Thursday to prevent political interference with public science research amid what they called "President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' 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.”