News | Monthly Update

October Update: 2023 has been quite a year | Annual Impact Report Release

2023 Impact Report

Today we are releasing our 2023 Impact Report, which highlights the many ways we’ve protected climate science and scientists this year and details the impact that your support has had on that fight.

2023 has been quite a year. With the help of our generous supporters, we were able to defend, empower, and strengthen the scientific endeavor in the face of anti-science forces.

  • We provided direct legal support to nearly a scientist a week, helping push back against harassment and abuse by fossil fuel-funded special interests, threats of retaliation for whistleblowing and climate activism, and invasive open records demands.
  • We were able to provide free legal education to thousands through our growing library of online resources and by presenting at conferences and educational events, giving researchers the tools to engage in climate litigation, advocacy, and other vital work safely and effectively.
  • We fought for stronger legal protections for researchers by testifying in hearings, submitting comments, and releasing our updated report on Research Protections in State Open Records Laws.

And we’re not done. Through the rest of 2023 and beyond, we will continue to protect the scientific endeavor by providing direct consultations and trainings to researchers; creating a Climate Litigation Toolkit for individuals engaging in scientific consulting work; and continuing to hold the federal and state governments accountable to protecting science.

Read the full report here.

*Numbers current as of October 1, 2023.

*Term “individual” is used to reflect that a small portion of our clients consists of students and those in science-adjacent roles such as science communicators. Term “group” is used to reflect that, in some instances, we assist an entire research group or other collective association of scientists and other individuals.

Summer Match Update

Thanks to your generous support, we are very excited to announce that we met our 2023 summer match goal! Every dollar you donated this summer was doubled, meaning you helped raise more than $80,000 that goes towards protecting climate researchers at this critical time. We are so grateful for your ongoing support of our mission — we can’t do this work without you.

If you missed our summer match, you can still take a stand in support of climate science.


Safeguarding Science in State Agencies

September 28, 2023 | Brennan Center for Justice

Most state and local officials have worked tirelessly — sometimes at risk to their own health and lives — to protect the public. But as was true at the federal level, some senior state and local officials have also repeatedly failed to live up to the trust the public placed in them. A new report from the Brennan Center for Justice includes findings from CSLDF that detail how few states safeguard the science used by their agencies, including requiring agencies to use the “best available science” in decision making.

Sign On Letter to Congress for Stronger Whistleblower Protections for Government Contractors

October 3, 2023 | Government Accountability Project

The undersigned 136 organizations committed to good government principles across political affiliations are united by our desire for accountability for taxpayer-funded government activities. We support free speech rights for whistleblowers who expose fraud, waste of funds or abuse of authority in federal spending.

Upcoming Events

AGU Fall Meeting 2023: Getting Involved in the 2024 U.S. Election | December 11, 2023

The 2024 U.S. election cycle is just around the corner. Join CSLDF attorneys to learn how scientists can apply their expertise towards the policy and lawmaking processes at a crucial time, including campaigning for science-forward candidates, engaging with Congress on important legislative matters, First Amendment rights as they pertain to scientists and researchers, and how scientists can be most effective in their advocacy efforts overall.

AGU Fall Meeting 2023: Understanding the Legal Risks of Advocacy and Activism | December 15, 2023

At CSLDF, our mission is to ensure that scientists can conduct, publish, and discuss their research as well as advocate for science without the threat of political harassment, censorship, or legal intimidation. We will discuss some of the basic legal risks of activism and advocacy, harassment, and defamation — and how to protect against them — as well as best practices in scientific and political communication. We will also overview ways to prepare and serve as an expert witness in climate legal defenses.

CSLDF is now on Threads: @ClimSciDefense and Bluesky:

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