Resource | Pocket Guide

A Pocket Guide for Scientists: The First Amendment

pocket guide to the first amendmentWe wrote this guide so scientists can make informed decisions about how to safely and effectively participate in advocacy and activism.

The First Amendment protects scientists who engage in the political process and express their views in various ways, even if they work for a federal, state, or local government entity.

But the location, nature, and subject of a scientist’s speech, and who they’re employed by can have implications for how the First Amendment protects a scientist against government action resulting from their activities.

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.

This guide is not a substitute for legal advice. Researchers with questions about political engagement should contact us to request a free, confidential consultation with one of our attorneys.

Call (646) 801-0853 or send an email to to make an appointment.

We’d like to thank Arianna Demas and Vera Eidelman of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for their valuable assistance in developing this guide.

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