Groups advise fed scientists to document, resist interference
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Feb 21, 2018
A specifically scientific federal workplace problem has emerged: Outside interference with government research findings, and publication—often by job slot shakeups and other indirect means—and the issue has brought a loud reply from advocacy groups.
Feds must document the interference.
An alliance of scientific and good government groups joined in producing a new guide, noting that delays and digs at agency scientific work—on climate change or environmental protection or medical breakthroughs—not only disrupts the federal workplace, but poses a threat to public health and safety.
“Carefully documenting events as they occur is one of the most important means for holding government officials accountable,” Louis Clark, the executive director of the Government Accountability Project said, in heralding the guide. “Any federal employee who suspects wrongdoing, or even feels uncomfortable in the workplace, can help ensure corrective action. A detailed, authentic record is an essential tool in the whistleblower toolbox.”
“Over the past year, stories of political interference with science have emerged from key federal agencies with disturbing frequency,” a press release about the guide notes. “Reports indicate that federal scientists have been moved around arbitrarily in their jobs, prevented from attending conferences or even instructed on what words not to use. In a hostile environment for science, how can federal employees protect themselves and uphold scientific integrity?”
The Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, along with GAP and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and the Project On Government Oversight, came together to produce the advisory.