We’re participating in the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, the world’s largest gathering of Earth and space scientists. Please join us for the following online events between December 1–17, 2020.
Please note: The best way to join these events is to login to the meeting and navigate to them via the top menu: Program>What’s On.
Free Legal Advice for Scientists
CSLDF attorneys are providing free, confidential meetings to scientists from all disciplines who have legal questions or concerns related to their work; these will be held over Zoom and on the phone. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
Strengths and Limitations of Scientific Integrity Policies: Wednesday, December 2 from 9:00–10:00 a.m. ET
Scientific integrity protections in the federal government have become an increasingly important topic over the past few years. Many government agencies have scientific integrity policies to protect against violations of scientific and ethical standards, but these policies vary widely in breadth, strength, and clarity. In particular, issues of censorship and political interference, while clear violations of basic scientific integrity principles are not always fully addressed by agency scientific integrity policies. Climate scientist Dr. Maria Caffrey will speak about her personal experience with scientific integrity issues in the federal government. CSLDF attorneys will also discuss what scientists should know when encountering potential censorship or political interference.
Climate Science in the Courtroom: How Scientists Can Inform Climate Litigation and the Law: Wednesday, December 9 from 7:00–8:00 p.m. ET
Increasingly, cases related to climate change are coming before courts of law in the United States and around the world. These cases often involve questions of climate science that courts have historically been ill-prepared to address. The guiding question of this Town Hall is, “how can climate science and scientists effectively and responsibly inform decision-making in judicial branches?” We will explore both scientific and legal perspectives on the role of climate science in the courtroom and initiatives underway to build climate science literacy within the judiciary and legal literacy among scientists.
How Congressional Oversight Has Hurt and Helped Science: Thursday, December 10 from 9:00–10:00 a.m. ET
Congressional oversight powers are extensive, and Congress and the public both have a legitimate interest in understanding the basis of science used to inform public policies. Congress has used these powers towards important goals – improving scientific research, expanding scientific education, and increasing science funding. Unfortunately, misuse of Congressional powers has also been a threat to science at times. In this session, attorneys from the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) will examine recent Congressional actions and their effects on science, and discuss necessary versus inappropriate uses of Congressional oversight powers. They will end with suggestions for potential reform measures that would improve how the next Congress treats science.
Science and the First Amendment: Tuesday, December 15 from 9:00–10:00 a.m. ET
The principle of free scientific inquiry has been linked to the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution – the rights of free speech, a free press, and others. Both publicly and privately employed scientists should understand how First Amendment protections have been applied to scientific research, as well as limitations on First Amendment rights. Attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) will discuss how First Amendment rights have been used to protect free speech on university campuses, the rights of scientists to engage in political speech, and public protest rights for scientific and other demonstrations. The U.S. Supreme Court has also acknowledged that academic freedom itself is a “special concern” of the First Amendment. However, there are limitations to all of these First Amendment rights, most notably defamation liability and protest restrictions. This session will help scientists understand what sorts of activities are and are not protected under the First Amendment.