Trump Administration Actively Silencing Government Scientists

EPA Administrator Scott PruittThe White House/Public Domain

"This attack on science ... sends a chilling message to the scientific community that their work is not valued."

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Trump administration barred three scientists from the Environmental Protection Agency from a 2017 conference on climate change as it affects the Narragansett Estuary Bay, despite the fact that they were scheduled to speak.

These three EPA scientists were scheduled to speak at a conference in Providence, RI about a recent report on the state of the Narragansett Bay and its watershed. The report was a product of the EPA-funded Narragansett Estuary Bay Program, and the scientists restricted from speaking at the conference contributed substantially to this report.

It is widely known that the Trump administration does not view the issue of climate change as a top priority, if an issue worthy of addressing at all. This marks the fourth time scientists have been kept from attending gatherings by the current administration.

Others include:

  • February 2017 - 17 EPA scientists were restricted from attending the Alaska Forum on the Environment, with travel costs given as the reason. Some of those barred lived within blocks of the conference location.
  • June 2017 - 27 Department of Energy scientists were kept without explanation from speaking at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conference in Russia.
  • November 2017 - Forest Service scientists were barred from attending the International Fire Congress to discuss the impact of climate change on wildfires; the Forest Service disputed claims that the decision was politically motivated.

As the Union of Concerned Scientists notes,

...restricting scientists from presenting at professional meetings hinders research progress and effectiveness, ultimately stifling federal agencies from fulfilling their science-based missions. This attack on science also sends a chilling message to the scientific community that their work is not valued.