Evidence lights the way

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Science  30 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6456, pp. 843
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz2301


These are dark times for science and public policy in the United States. In June, it was revealed that the White House suppressed the congressional testimony of a State Department scientist on the implications of climate change for national security—just the latest example of evidence undercut by ideology. Yet, despite this gloomy backdrop, there are glimmers of scientific evidence used to improve policy and practice. In July, a bipartisan group formed the Congressional What Works Caucus to encourage federal investments in evidence-based programs and policies. Since January, the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act has pushed federal agencies to develop learning agendas and appoint chief data officers to make better use of government data. What will it take to keep the light of evidence burning and ensure that the best science informs important decisions of our time?

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