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 SchatzLawmakers urge tech to root out extremism after New Zealand Advocate says Trump administration's new proposal would do 'absolutely nothing' to alleviate student debt Hillicon Valley: Huawei official asks US to ease restrictions | Facebook loses top execs | Defense officials hit Google over China | Pro-Trump 'safe space' app pulled over security flaw | Senators offer bill on facial recognition technology MORE (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Paul TonkoPaul David TonkoDem divisions deepen over approach to climate change Overnight Energy: Interior chief moves to protect access to public lands | Dem rolls out climate plan meant to appeal to GOP | LA County bans weed killer Roundup Top Dem lawmaker rolls out climate plan to appeal to GOP MORE (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation on Thursday to prevent political interference with public science research amid what they called "President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated 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. 

ADVERTISEMENT

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.”