Warner supports effort to protect scientists from political interference

mark warnerU.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) joined more than two dozen Democratic senators in introducing legislation aimed at protecting government scientists from political interference. The legislation comes in the wake of recent reports that Trump administration officials had placed gag orders on employees at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“Our nation’s scientists have a solemn duty to seek out the facts, wherever they may lead,” said Sen. Warner. “Any attempt to silence them would not only threaten the United States’ standing as a world leader in technological advancement and biomedical breakthroughs, but it would prove damaging in our ongoing effort to fight the devastating effects of sea level rise and climate change.”

Among other things, the bill would:

  • Reaffirm the principle of open communication of scientific findings and prevent the suppression of scientific findings.
  • Ensure that scientists are allowed to communicate their findings with the public, press, and Congress.
  • Direct federal agencies to develop scientific integrity policies that include whistleblower protections.
  • Require scientific integrity policies to be posted online and given to all new hires.

Since November, more than 5,000 scientists, including many Nobel Prize winners, have signed an open letter urging President Trump and Congress to preserve scientific integrity.

Sen. Warner was joined in introducing the legislation by Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Cory Booker (NJ), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (DE), Chris Coons (DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Ed Markey (MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (MI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (OR).

For more information on this bill, click here.

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