AIN Update

Oct. 4, 2019

Norms that uphold the integrity of federally funded research continue to be broken. The Union of Concerned Scientists’ ongoing tally of attacks on scientific integrity by the Trump administration lists over 120 occurrences of data interference or denial.

In response to the executive branch’s ongoing attacks on science for political or personal gain, the Brennan Center’s Task Force on Rule of Law & Democracy released its Proposals for Reform Volume II. This democracy-focused report outlines clear, concrete steps Congress and federal agencies should take to codify norms vital for scientific integrity and good public policy.

The recommendations include, but are not limited to: the creation of scientific integrity standards and adoption of policies that guarantee those standards; passing legislation to prohibit data manipulation or retaliation against a researcher for political ends; and congressionally mandated, proactive disclosure of government research.

Lawmakers must not belittle the harmful, long-term effects the executive branch’s attacks on federally funded scientific norms will have on public policy. Proposals for Reform Volume II is comprehensive in its analysis of the problems at hand and provides solutions that Congress should pursue.