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April Update: Tracking Attempts to Silence Science

Tracking Attempts to Silence Science

Scientists’ freedom to conduct research and publish their findings, without interference, is crucial for a strong democracy. Ensuring that scientists can do so safely and effectively is at the heart of our mission. While much of our work involves providing direct legal assistance and education to climate researchers, another important element is tracking and publicizing attempts to silence science.

To that end, since the November 2016 election, we have collaborated with the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law to maintain the Silencing Science Tracker. This project was launched in response to the Trump administration’s extreme anti-science actions. Since then, efforts to interfere with scientific integrity have continued across the country. To date, we have tracked 530 attempts to silence or interfere with science.

Recent additions to the Tracker include anti-vaccine actions by the Florida Department of Health, a recently passed “intelligent design” bill in West Virginia, and President Biden’s proposed FY2025 budget, which includes cuts to NOAA research programs. Earlier entries document actions taken by state governments to impede the teaching of science in public schools.

We often hear, “This is the most important election of our lifetime!” – and, in 2024, the warning is very real. With the looming possibility of an even more vehemently anti-science administration returning to office this November, it is more important than ever that we stay vigilant about ongoing threats to science and scientists – and, wherever possible, work to prevent damage.

Staying informed about current threats to science and what we might face in the future – and what we can do to protect science even in the worst-case scenario – is imperative to safeguard not only science but also our democracy and our collective well-being.

Take a stand for science this November. Before heading to the ballot box, get informed about the candidates for local, state, and federal office and where they stand on critical issues.


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Conspiracies and cynical indifference are the right’s latest climate strategy

April 15, 2024 | The Hill Opinion

So it’s frustrating to see segments of American society so determined to turn back the clock and embrace various forms of science denialism. It’s also incredibly dangerous, especially when it infiltrates politics as it’s doing now… We need leaders who embrace science.

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