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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 SchatzTech CEOs clash with lawmakers in contentious hearing Bitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court Senate Democrats hold talkathon to protest Barrett's Supreme Court nomination MORE (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Paul TonkoPaul David TonkoOvernight Energy: Trump officials finalize plan to open up protected areas of Tongass to logging | Feds say offshore testing for oil can proceed despite drilling moratorium | Dems question EPA's postponement of inequality training Democrats question EPA postponement of environmental inequality training Clark rolls out endorsements in assistant Speaker race MORE (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation on Thursday to prevent political interference with public science research amid what they called "President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump 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.”