Policy ForumSCI POLICY

Ensuring scientific integrity in the Age of Trump

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Science  17 Feb 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6326, pp. 696-698
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam5733

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With the new Donald J. Trump Administration comes uncertainty in the role that science will play in the U.S. federal government. Early indications that the Administration plans to distort or disregard science and evidence, coupled with the chaos and confusion occurring within federal agencies, now imperil the effectiveness of our government. Evidence from the past 20 years demonstrates that, when faced with such threats, supporters of science can take steps to protect the integrity of science in the federal policy-making process. The scientific community will need to connect science-informed policy to positive outcomes and staunchly defend scientific freedom. It must also spotlight political interference in science-based policy development and be prepared to protect scientists—both within and outside the government—against executive or legislative overreach. A range of scientific integrity and transparency policies across federal agencies provides critical tools but must be enforced and protected.