EDITORIAL

Scientists can't be silent

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Science  04 Aug 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6350, pp. 431
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao4665

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Summary

In an era of rapid technological change and an increasingly global economy, investments in research and development are crucial for spurring economic growth and sustaining competitiveness. Yet, across the U.S. federal government, scientists are playing a decreasing role in the policymaking that supports this investment, often being pushed out by a political agenda that is stridently antiscience. Meanwhile, Americans are becoming more distrustful of democratic institutions, the scientific method, and basic facts—three core beliefs on which the research enterprise depends. The United States remains the unquestioned global leader in science and innovation, but given a White House that disregards the value of science and an American public that questions the very concept of scientific consensus, sustaining the U.S. commitment to science won't happen without a fight.