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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Political Action Toolkit

Our free legal resources explain the best practices for safely and effectively engaging in political advocacy.

2022 Impact Report

See what your donations have enabled this year
Impact Report

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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

  • The plan to ‘Trump-proof’ US science against political meddling

    “I think that’s a missed opportunity,” says Lauren Kurtz, executive director of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, an advocacy group based in New York City. Although the policy seeks to strengthen scientific-integrity operations and create an independent panel that could provide consistency from administration to administration, Kurtz warns that these efforts aren’t guaranteed to withstand future political meddling.

  • Opinion: What Opioid Lawsuits Can Teach Us About Climate Courtroom Battles

    "An astounding three quarters of litigators are failing to cite the most recent peer-reviewed findings in the climate change lawsuits."

  • Researchers Hit With Lawsuits, Records Requests for Fact-Checking Climate Claims

    “They make a point of going after the fact-checkers because, in addition to stopping regulation, they also want to prevent or discourage climate scientists from doing things that might educate the public" said Lauren Kurtz.

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