Protecting the Scientific Endeavor

Science Under Siege

The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund has fought for the scientific endeavor since 2011. Our initiatives ensure that scientists can conduct, publish, and discuss their research and advocate for science without the threat of political harassment, censorship, or legal intimidation.
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Our Work

We provide free legal aid and resources to researchers, educate the scientific community about their rights and responsibilities, and strengthen legal protections to promote scientific integrity.

Scientific Integrity Reporting Project

In partnership with Government Accountability Project, we’ve launched a confidential, anonymous platform for scientists and others in science-adjacent roles to detail experiences involving past and ongoing threats to scientific norms and scientific integrity. We plan to draw upon these stories to learn about how to better protect science in the future; legal advice and potential representation will also be available to those who contact us.

Safeguarding Scientific Integrity

We promote scientific integrity reforms to ensure the best available research and data inform government decision-making. And we publish resources to advance understanding of how research institutions and federal agencies approach scientific integrity — and how to strengthen legal protections for science and scientists.

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Latest Resources and Activities

Pocket Guide for Scientists: The First Amendment

This guide helps scientists navigate the First Amendment so they can be involved in their communities and the political process while minimizing concerns about negative repercussions in their professional lives.

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Scientists: Know Your Rights 

The legal risks for any individual scientist are small, but there are actions you can take to protect and defend yourself, especially if you’re involved in scientific advocacy and activism.

Our Expertise in the News

  • Agency Official Pressed on Scientific Integrity Review

    Lauren Kurtz, CSLDF's director, was quoted in E&E News following an EPA meeting on scientific integrity after Trump. EPA is currently reviewing past scientific integrity complaints and other communications with scientific integrity officers, but EPA's Scientific Integrity Official also emphasized not "dwelling in the past." Said Kurtz, "It's a challenging balance because there is a real need to learn from past mistakes, and we know that many issues are not reported.... [T]here is a need for a very thorough review of past failings to learn how to better protect science in the future."

  • Biden's First 100 days: Where He Stands on Science

    An op-ed co-authored by Lauren Kurtz, CSLDF's director, asserts that things are improving, but there’s still a lot President Biden can do to restore the role of science in federal policy.

  • A Biden Administration Strategy: Send In the Scientists

    Josh Wolfe, a CSLDF co-founder, describes the harassment and attacks experienced by NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt throughout his career.

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Your support helps us fight for scientists and defend scientific integrity.

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