Scientists Affected: Other

Silencing Science Tracker

Scientists Affected: Other

2018-12-10 Availability of Scientific Data on Waterways Misrepresented by EPA Official EPA, Federal Bias and Misrepresentation Other

The Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water erroneously claimed that no data was available showing the number of streams that would be excluded from the new definition of “waters of the United States” proposed by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers. Internal EPA documents show that agency staff had conducted a detailed analysis and determined that at least 18% of streams and 51% of wetlands nationwide would be excluded from the new definition.

2018-10-11 EPA Science Panel Disbanded EPA, Federal Personnel Changes Other

EPA announced that it was disbanding the particulate matter review panel. The panel has historically provided advice to EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee on the need for changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulate matter.

2018-09-27 EPA’s Office of the Science Advisor to be Closed EPA, Federal Personnel Changes Climate, Other

EPA is reportedly planning to close its Office of the Science Advisor. According to its website, the office is responsible for “science policy development and implementation” at EPA, and aims to “ensure that the highest quality science is better integrated into the Agency’s policies and decisions.”

2018-09-09 Scientific Data and Records to be Destroyed by DOI DOI, Federal Government Censorship, Research Hindrance Other

DOI filed a “Request for Records Disposition Authority” with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). In the request, DOI seeks permission from NARA to destroy records relating to its conservation, land use, energy, and water programs. Many of the records document the findings of scientific research or contain data needed to conduct such research.

2018-09-05 Research Funding Reallocated by HHS Federal, HHS Budget Cuts Other

HHS announced that it would use funds originally allocated to research and other programs to cover the costs of its Unaccompanied Alien Children program. A total of $266 million will be re-diverted, including $87.3 million originally allocated to the National Institutes of Health for cancer and other research.

2018-09-03 FWS Officials Interfered in Scientific Study DOI, Federal Research Hindrance Other

Scientists from Oklahoma State University and the University of Georgia were engaged by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to contribute to a study of the impact of farming on an endangered insect. The scientists allege that FWS officials dismissed concerns they raised about the study’s methodology and pressured them to “work on a rushed timeline at odds with what they saw as good science.”

2018-09 EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Omitted from New Organizational Chart EPA, Federal Personnel Changes Climate, Other

EPA issued a new organizational chart which omitted any reference to the Office of Children’s Health Protection (OCHP). The Director of OCHP, Dr. Ruth Etzel, was subsequently placed on administrative leave without explanation. This followed several months of what Dr. Etzel described as “guerrilla warefare,” being waged by top EPA leaders, as part of an effort to “disappear” OCHP.

2018-08-14 Public Communication by NPS Scientists Restricted DOI, Federal Government Censorship Climate, Other

A survey of scientists at DOI’s National Park Service found various restrictions on their ability to communicate with the public and journalists.

2018-08-14 USDA Scientists Prevented from Researching “Politically Contentious” Topics Federal, USDA Research Hindrance Climate, Other

A survey of federal government scientists found evidence of political interference in scientific research at USDA. The survey found, among other things, that resources have been shifted away from USDA programs and offices involved in “politically contentious” research.

2018-08-14 FWS Scientists Prevented from Discussing or Researching “Politically Contentious” Topics DOI, Federal Government Censorship, Research Hindrance Climate, Other

A survey of scientists at DOI’s Fish and Wildlife Service found that many have been told not to work on topics deemed “politically contentious” and to omit “politically contentious” words, including “climate change” and “science,” from their reports.

2018-08-14 USGS Scientists Prevented from Researching “Politically Contentious” Topics DOI, Federal Research Hindrance Climate, Other

A survey of scientists at DOI’s U.S. Geological Survey found that many have been asked or told not to work on topics deemed “politically contentious.”

2018-08-14 Scientific Research Subject to Political Interference at NOAA DOC, Federal Research Hindrance Climate, Other

A survey of federal government scientists found evidence of political interference in scientific research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The survey found, among other things, that scientists have been told to avoid research linking environmental problems to action by industry.

2018-07-16 Online Medical Guidelines Database Removed by HHS Federal, HHS Budget Cuts Other

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, removed an online medical guidelines database. The database, known as the National Guideline Clearinghouse, was thought to be the world’s most comprehensive online repository of medical guidelines.

2018-07-06 Release of Health Study Blocked by EPA EPA, Federal Government Censorship Other

Senior EPA officials reported sought to block release of a scientific study discussing the health hazards posed by formaldehyde.

2018-06-22 North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Budget Cut NC, State Budget Cuts, Personnel Changes Other

The North Carolina legislature rejected a proposal from Governor Roy Cooper to increase funding for the state Department of Environmental Quality to enable it to hire scientists to work on water pollution issues. Instead, the legislature voted to cut the Department’s funding by $1.8 million, which critics say will lead to job losses.

2018-06-21 Public Communication by USGS Scientists Restricted DOI, Federal Government Censorship Climate, Other

DOI issued a new media protocol that requires scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey to obtain approval before speaking to journalists. The protocol permits DOI to reject interview requests on scientific matters.

2018-06-20 Three EPA Advisory Committees Disbanded EPA, Federal Personnel Changes Other

EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) announced that it was disbanding three sub-committees — the Ecological Processes and Effects Committee, Environmental Engineering Committee, and Environmental Economics Advisory Committee — “[o]n the recommendation of the SAB Staff Office.”

2018-06-20 Florida Citrus Department Budget Cuts Proposed for 2018-19 FL, State Budget Cuts Other

The Florida Department of Citrus’ 2018-19 budget proposed to reduce funding for scientific research by $48,700. The reductions are reportedly necessary due to lower than expected revenues.

2018-06-18 EPA Research Grants Cancelled at Direction of Political Appointee EPA, Federal Budget Cuts Climate, Other

A political appointee at EPA — the Deputy Director for Public Affairs John Konkus — ordered the cancellation of at least four grants for research on climate change and related topics.

2018-06-14 New Conference Approval Process Adopted by USGS DOI, Federal Government Censorship Climate, Other

The U.S. Geological Survey, within the Department of the Interior, will require scientists wishing to attend certain conferences to provide their presentation title(s) and an explanation of how their research relates to the priorities of Interior Secretary Zinke. The information will be reviewed by a political appointee, who will determine which scientists can attend each conference.

2018-05-14 Release of Scientific Study Blocked EPA, Federal, HHS, White House Government Censorship Other

White House and EPA officials sought to block publication of HHS study on the health effects of water contamination due to concerns that it would be a “public relations nightmare.”

2018-05-11 Scientific Findings of Environment Agency Questioned by Ohio Governor OH, State Bias and Misrepresentation Other

Ohio Governor John Kasich questioned scientific data showing poor water quality in Lake Erie. Based on the data, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency concluded that the lake’s waters are impaired, but the Governor disputed that finding.

2018-05-03 DOI Staff Prevented from Attending Scientific Conference DOI, Federal Government Censorship Other

DOI’s Bureau of Land Management prevented at least 14 scientists from attending the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Several of those prevented from attending had been scheduled to speak at a symposium, which had to be cancelled due to the lack of participation by government scientists.

2018-05 Science of Evolution Questioned by Arizona State Official AZ, State Bias and Misrepresentation Other

In a television interview, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas suggested that science only “back[s] up part of” the theory of evolution, and “not all of it.” Superintendent Douglas has previously advocated for Florida schools to teach the unproven theory of “intelligent design” as an alternative to evolution.

2018-04-12 Use of Science in EPA Air Pollution Programs Restricted EPA, Federal, White House Bias and Misrepresentation Other

President Trump signed a memorandum directing the EPA Administrator to make changes to certain air pollution programs. The changes have implications for the use of science in developing and implementing air pollution protections.

2018-04-06 Research Findings Questioned by New Hampshire Cities Local Govt., NH, State Bias and Misrepresentation Other

The cities of Dover, Portsmouth, and Rochester in New Hampshire questioned the accuracy of scientific research finding that municipal wastewater is contributing to high nitrogen levels in the Great Bay estuary.

2018-03-29 DOL Advisory Boards Suspended DOL, Federal Personnel Changes Other

One DOL advisory board – the Council on Occupational Safety and Health – has been disbanded and four others have had their operations suspended. As of March 2018, the boards had not met in at least nine months.

2018-03-28 Scientific Research on Cancer Risk Misrepresented CA, State Bias and Misrepresentation Other

Retailers in California were required to include a cancer warning on coffee, despite scientific evidence showing that it does not pose a cancer risk.

2018-03-23 Charters of BLM Advisory Councils Revised DOI, Federal Bias and Misrepresentation, Research Hindrance Climate, Other

DOI revised the charters of twenty-one resource advisory councils responsible for advising the Bureau of Land Management. Under the revised charters, councils are required to “provide recommendations for implementation” of various executive orders and secretarial orders, leading to concerns that they will be put “in a position of implementing an agenda rather than providing solid advice.”

2018-03-19 EPA’s Use of Scientific Studies Restricted EPA, Federal Bias and Misrepresentation Other

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced a so-called “science transparency policy” that would prevent studies based on non-public scientific data being used in agency rulemakings.

2018-03-09 EPA Staff Participation in Scientific Integrity Survey Restricted EPA, Federal Government Censorship Climate, Other

EPA scientists were warned against participating in a survey on scientific integrity within the federal government. An email containing a link to the survey was classified as spam “stemming from an unknown entity” by EPA’s Computer Security Incident Response Center, despite those running the survey providing advance notice to that it would be sent.

2018-03-06 EPA Science Advisory Board Unofficially Suspended EPA, Federal Personnel Changes Climate, Other

As of March 2018, EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) had not met in at least six months, leading to concerns among members that EPA is trying to sideline the board. According to members, ordinarily, the SAB would have multiple interactions (including in-person meetings and teleconferences) during any six month period.

2018-03 References to “Evolution” Removed from Arizona Education Standards AZ, State Interference with Education Other

The Arizona Department of Education revised draft science education standards to limit the teaching of evolution and give teachers greater flexibility to present it as a controversial topic about which scientists disagree.

2018-03 Faulty Science Used to Justify Mississippi Abortion Bill MS, State Bias and Misrepresentation Other

Mississippi State Senator Joey Filingane argued that technological advances justify the adoption of stricter limits on abortion. In support this argument, the Senator referenced technology that he admitted does not yet exist, but argued that it may be developed in the next two to three years, before any litigation concerning the new abortion limits concludes.

2018-02-27 EPA Research Center to be Eliminated EPA, Federal Budget Cuts, Personnel Changes Other

EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research, which distributes grants for research on the effects of chemical exposure, will be eliminated as part of an agency reorganization involving the merger of three research offices.

2018-02-12 NASA Budget Cuts Proposed for FY19 Federal, NASA Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2019 budget proposes to reduce funding for NASA by 0.3% (compared to FY2017 levels). Among other things, the budget would eliminate funding for the international space station from 2025, cancel a project to upgrade communications satellites, and terminate five earth sciences research missions.

2018-02-12 EPA Budget Cuts Proposed for FY19 EPA, Federal Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2019 budget proposes to cut EPA funding by 33.7% (compared to FY2017 levels), and eliminate a number of the agency’s research and education programs, including the Climate Change Research and Partnership Program and the Environmental Education Program.

2018-02-12 DOI Budget Cuts Proposed for FY19 DOI, Federal Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2019 budget proposes to reduce funding for DOI by 16.8% (compared to FY2017 levels). The reductions are achieved, in part, through cuts to various DOI grant programs.

2018-02-12 USDA Budget Cuts Proposed for FY19 Federal, USDA Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2019 budget proposes to cut USDA funding by 16.4% (compared to FY2017 levels). Under the budget, funding for a number of USDA research programs, including statistical research programs administered by the Economic Research Service, would be reduced or eliminated.

2018-02-12 NSF Program Cuts Proposed for FY19 Federal, NSF Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2019 budget proposes cuts to a number of National Science Foundation (NSF) programs, including a 56% reduction in the NSF account that supports the construction of research platforms and the acquisition of scientific instruments.

2018-02-12 DOE Program Cuts Proposed for FY19 DOE, Federal Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2019 budget proposes to cut funding for DOE by 3.4% (compared to FY2017 levels). Funding for DOE’s innovation arm, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), would be eliminated and funding for its Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy cut in half.

2018-02-12 NIH Budget Cuts Proposed for FY19 Federal, HHS Budget Cuts Other

The Trump administration’s FY2019 budget proposes to maintain funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at FY2017 levels, despite imposing additional responsibilities on the NIH, including establishing three new sub-institutes to take over functions currently performed by other HHS offices.

2018-02-12 NOAA Budget Cuts Proposed for FY19 DOC, Federal Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2019 budget proposes to reduce funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration by 20% compared to FY2017 levels. Among other things, the budget would eliminate $273 million in funding for NOAA grant programs, including the National Sea Grant College Program and National Estuarine Research Reserve System.

2018-02-12 Bill Opposing the Next Generation Science Standards Introduced in Iowa IA, State Interference with Education Climate, Other

A bill was introduced in the Iowa legislature that would, if enacted, prevent implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The bill was reportedly prompted by a concern that the NGSS discuss “controversial topics,” such as climate change and evolution.

2018-02-07 Science on Vaccine Safety Misrepresented by Milwaukee Health Department Official Local Govt., State, WI Bias and Misrepresentation Other

During a radio interview, the newly appointed head of Milwaukee’s Health Department, Patricia McManus, stated that “the science is still out” on whether vaccines cause autism. Any link between vaccines and autism has, however, been disproved in numerous scientific studies.

2018-02-06 National Science and Technology Council to be Restructured Federal, White House Personnel Changes Climate, Other

The White House announced plans to restructure the interagency National Science and Technology Council, which was established in 1993 to coordinate science policy across the federal government. The restructure will be overseen by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, which has requested input from 20 federal agencies.

2018-02 DOI Secretary Accused of Breaching Scientific Integrity Policy DOI, Federal Personnel Changes Climate, Other

Two senior scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey resigned in protest over an alleged breach of the USGS’s scientific integrity policy by the Secretary of the Interior.

2018-02 Proposal to Defund Wyoming Environmental Quality Council Approved by State House of Representatives State, WY Budget Cuts Other

The Wyoming House of Representatives voted to withhold funding from the state’s Environmental Quality Council. The vote was reportedly prompted by a concern that the Council, which reviews matters relating to environmental pollution, is too “anti-business.”

2018-02 Change to Science Education Standards Proposed in Ohio OH, State Interference with Education Other

A member of the Ohio Board of Education, Sarah Fowler, proposed adding an “overarching content statement” to the state’s new science education standards. The statement emphasizes that “scientific conclusions are necessarily based upon philosophical assumptions,” which is an argument often used to challenge the teaching of evolution. Critics assert that, if the statement is added to the standards, it may encourage teachers to present the unproven theory of “intelligent design” as an alternative to evolution.

2018-01-31 Bill Prohibiting Adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards Introduced in Iowa IA, State Interference with Education Climate, Other

A bill was introduced in the Iowa House of Representatives that would, if enacted, prevent implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The bill was reportedly prompted by a concern that the NGSS discuss “controversial topics,” such as climate change and evolution.

2018-01-31 Milwaukee Health Department Employees Prevented from Discussing Lead Contamination Local Govt., State, WI Government Censorship Other

Former Milwaukee Health Commissioner Bevan Baker ordered Health Department employees not to discuss concerns about lead contamination with members of the city council.

2018-01-18 Bill Undermining Teaching of Evolution Introduced in Alabama AL, State Interference with Education Other

A bill was introduced in the Alabama legislature that would, if enacted, allow teachers to present the theory of creation as an alternative to evolution.

2018-01-17 NIEHS Director’s Involvement in Scientific Study Investigated Congress, Federal Government Censorship, Research Hindrance Other

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology announced it was reviewing the involvement of Dr. Linda Birnbaum, the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, in a study of federal toxics regulation and requested that HHS also commence a review.

2018-01 DOE Officials Pressured Researchers to Change Report DOE, Federal Research Hindrance Climate, Other

Researchers at the National Energy Technology Laboratory were pressured, by DOE officials, to change a report on electric system reliability during extreme weather events. The changes were purportedly intended to bolster the Trump administration’s claims that retention of coal-fired power plants is vital to maintain reliability.

2018-01 Unqualified Individuals Appointed to Florida Wildlife Commission FL, State Personnel Changes Other

Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed three individuals with little or no experience in wildlife management to the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

2018-01 Research Funding Cut by Florida Citrus Department FL, State Budget Cuts Other

The Florida Department of Citrus cut $70,000 from its scientific research, marketing, and administration budgets. The cuts were reportedly necessary due to lower than expected revenues.

2018-01 Water Testing Blocked by South Carolina Mayor Local Govt., SC, State Research Hindrance Other

The mayor of Denmark in South Carolina, Gerald Wright, refused to allow a Virginia Tech professor, Marc Edwards, to test the city’s drinking water supplies for possible contamination. Mayor Wright asserted that the testing was unnecessary because the city’s water had already been assessed by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control and found to be safe.

2017-12-31 Trump Administration Fails to Fill Science Positions Federal, White House Personnel Changes Climate, Other

As of December 31, 2017, President Trump had filled fewer government science positions than any other recent President, at the same point in time. Just 20 of the 83 positions designated by the National Academies of Sciences as “science appointees” had been filled.

2017-12-28 New Grants Process Adopted by DOI DOI, Federal Budget Cuts, Research Hindrance Other

DOI staff were directed to ensure that grants to outside groups promote the Trump Administration’s policies and have certain grants of $50,000 or more approved by political appointees.

2017-12-18 Findings of EPA Advisory Committee Misrepresented EPA, Federal Bias and Misrepresentation Other

In a letter to Senator Tom Udall, EPA misrepresented the findings of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee, in relation to the need to delay certain provisions of the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard.

2017-12-14 CDC Staff Given List of Forbidden Words Federal, HHS Government Censorship Other

Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control were given a list of 7 words, including “evidence-based” and “science-based,” which should not be used in documents prepared for next year’s budget.

2017-12-08 Oklahoma Health Department Staff Laid Off OK, State Personnel Changes Other

Following discovery of a $30 billion budget gap, the Oklahoma Department of Health announced that it would lay off 198 staff, and would be unable to fill existing open positions, including several in the epidemiology department.

2017-12-06 Unqualified Individuals Appointed to Missouri Clean Water Commission MO, State Personnel Changes Other

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens appointed three new members to the state’s Clean Water Commission. All three appointees have close ties to industry and appear to lack appropriate qualifications for serving on the Commission.

2017-12-05 Trump Science Nominees Lack Qualifications All, Federal Personnel Changes Climate, Other

Of 43 Trump administration nominees in science-related positions, only 41% had a master’s degree or doctorate in a science field, compared to 58% under President Obama.

2017-12 Funding for Offshore Drilling Safety Study Suspended DOI, Federal Budget Cuts Other

DOI ordered the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to “stop-work” on a study of offshore oil and gas drilling commissioned by BSEE pending review.

2017-12 Fewer Scientists Employed by EPA in 2017 EPA, Federal Personnel Changes Other

Over 200 scientists left EPA in 2017, most of whom have not been replaced. Over the course of 2017, EPA hired just 7 scientists.

2017-12 FDA Food Advisory Committee Disbanded Federal, HHS Personnel Changes Other

The food advisory committee, the only body dedicated to advising the Food and Drug Administration on food-related science policy, was disbanded.

2017-12 OSHA Advisory Committees Suspended DOL, Federal Personnel Changes Other

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration announced plans to re-evaluate the work of its advisory committees.

2017-11-17 Bill Requiring Balanced Teaching of Scientific Theories Introduced in Florida FL, State Interference with Education Climate, Other

A bill was introduced in the Florida legislature that would, if enacted, require “controversial” scientific theories to be taught in a “balanced” way. While the bill does not identify any specific “controversial” theories, it is thought to be targeting the teaching of climate change and evolution.

2017-11-09 Bill Appointing Industry Representatives to Oversee Environmental Decisions Introduced in Michigan MI, State Personnel Changes Climate, Other

A package bills was introduced in the Michigan senate that would, if enacted, establish a new Environmental Rules Review Committee to oversee the state Department of Environmental Quality. The Committee would consist of over half industry representatives and have broad authority to veto rules proposed by the Department.

2017-11-01 Bill Obstructing Medical Research Introduced in Iowa IA, State Research Hindrance Other

A bill was introduced in the Iowa legislature that would, if enacted, prohibit the transfer or use of fetal body parts. Opponents of the bill say it will prevent vital medical research using fetal tissue.

2017-11 Teaching of Unproven Scientific Concept Supported by Arizona State Official AZ, State Interference with Education Other

At a Republican candidate event, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas argued that school children should be taught alternatives to the theory of evolution, including the unproven theory of “intelligent design.”

2017-11 Science of Evolution Questioned by Utah Education Board Member State, UT Interference with Education Other

During a hearing of the Utah State Board of Education, vice-chairwoman Alisa Ellis argued that teachers should present evolution as a theory and not a fact. She also urged teachers to discuss alternative explanations for the origins of life, including the unproven theory of “intelligent design.”

2017-10-31 EPA-Funded Scientists Barred From Serving on Advisory Committees EPA, Federal Personnel Changes Other

EPA announced that scientists receiving agency grants would not longer be able to serve on its advisory boards.

2017-10-31 Missouri Life Sciences Research Board to be Eliminated MO, State Personnel Changes Other

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens convened a task force to explore ways to shrink the size and scope of the state government. The task force recommended, among other things, eliminating the state Life Sciences Research Board.

2017-10-23 Trump Administration Fails to Appoint Science Advisor Federal, White House Personnel Changes Other

As of October 23, 2017, the Trump administration had taken longer than any other to nominate a science adviser to head the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

2017-10 Chemical Rules Adopted by EPA Against Scientific Advice EPA, Federal Bias and Misrepresentation Other

EPA rewrote certain chemical rules against the advice of agency scientists who warned that the changes may result in an “underestimation of the [chemicals’] potential risks to human health and the environment”

2017-10 References to “Climate Change” Removed from EPA’s International Website EPA, Federal Government Censorship Climate, Other

Between October and December 2017, EPA made various changes to its International Cooperation website, including removing information about climate change.

2017-10 Unqualified Individual Appointed to North Carolina Oil and Gas Commission NC, State Personnel Changes Climate, Other

The North Carolina legislature appointed Jim Womak to the state’s Oil and Gas Commission. Mr. Womak was appointed to a seat reserved for a “representative of a nongovernmental conservation interest” but has no experience in conservation.

2017-09 Data Omitted from Crime Report DOJ, Federal Bias and Misrepresentation Other

The FBI’s 2016 Crime in the United States report contained almost 70% fewer data tables than the 2015 report.

2017-09 Database of Science-Based Programs Suspended by HHS Federal, HHS Government Censorship Other

HHS suspended the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices which lists addiction and mental health programs that have been independently assessed and deemed scientifically sound.

2017-09 Standards Undermining Science Education Proposed by New Mexico Education Department NM, State Interference with Education Climate, Other

The New Mexico Public Education Department proposed to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards, with various amendments, which critics say will limit discussion of climate change and evolution in schools.

2017-08-31 CDC Employees Prevented from Speaking to Reporters Federal, HHS Government Censorship Other

Employees at the Centers for Disease Control were instructed not to speak with any member of the news media, regardless of the nature of their inquiry, without the approval of the communications office.

2017-08-18 Coal Mining Study Paused by DOI DOI, Federal Budget Cuts Other

DOI’s Office of Surface Mining directed the National Academy of Sciences to stop work on a study of potential health effects from mountaintop removal coal mining. DOI had previously committed $1 million for the study, but is now reconsidering its funding decision.

2017-08 EPA Staff Forced to Prioritize Industry “Wish List” EPA, Federal Bias and Misrepresentation Other

EPA staff have been directed to prioritize industry requests for changes to environmental regulations. Many of the requested changes are contrary to agency scientific research.

2017-07-21 Florida Citrus Department Budget Cuts Proposed for 2017-18 FL, State Budget Cuts Other

The Florida Department of Citrus’ 2017-18 budget proposed to reduce funding for scientific research. The reductions are reportedly necessary due to lower than expected revenues.

2017-07 Research Grants Cancelled by HHS Federal, HHS Budget Cuts Other

HHS cancelled $213.6 million in funding for teen pregnancy prevention programs and research. The cancellation will affect five-year grants awarded to 80 institutions by the Obama administration.

2017-07 Non-Scientist Nominated for Top USDA Science Position Federal, USDA Personnel Changes Other

President Trump nominated Sam Clovis, a former radio announcer and economics professor, with no “hard-science” qualifications to the USDA’s top science position.

2017-06 Discredited Scientific Study Cited by Tennessee State Representative State, TN Bias and Misrepresentation Climate, Other

Tennessee State Representative Diane Black relied on a discredited scientific study, which was funded by industry and did not comply with established research protocols, to push for the weakening of regulations controlling emissions from glider trucks.

2017-05-23 NIH’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration Federal, HHS Budget Cuts Other

The Trump administration’s FY2018 budget proposed a 25% cut in funding for research programs at NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

2017-05-23 DHS’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration DHS, Federal Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY 2018 budget proposed an 11% cut in funding for DHS programs supporting climate and other environmental research.

2017-05-23 DOI’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration DOI, Federal Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2018 budget proposed a 19% cut in funding for climate and environmental research programs at DOI.

2017-05-23 EPA’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration EPA, Federal Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2018 budget proposes to cut funding for EPA climate and environmental research programs by 39% or $438 million.

2017-05-23 NOAA’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration DOC, Federal Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2018 budget proposed to cut funding for NOAA’s climate and environmental research programs by 7% or $49 million.

2017-05-23 NSF’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration Federal, NSF Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2018 budget proposed a 10% cut funding in for the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s climate and environmental research programs. This is expected to lead to 800 fewer awards to universities and other institution in 2018 compared to 2017.

2017-05-23 USDA’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration Federal, USDA Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2018 budget proposed a 12% cut in funding for USDA climate and environmental research programs.

2017-05-23 NASA’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration Federal, NASA Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2018 budget proposes to cut funding for NASA climate and environmental research programs by 8% or $151 million.

2017-05-23 DOD’s FY18 Budget Request Cut by Trump Administration DOD, Federal Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s proposed FY2018 budget included $347 million in funding for climate and environmental research at DOD. This represents less than 1% of the amount requested by DOD and would result in cuts to several research programs.

2017-05-23 DOE’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration DOE, Federal Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2018 budget proposes a 59% cut in funding for DOE’s earth and environmental sciences program which plays a key role in federal climate change research.

2017-05-23 Cuts to FY2018 Funding for National Hansen’s Disease Program Proposed Federal, HHS Budget Cuts Other

The Trump administration’s FY2018 budget proposed a 23% cut in funding the National Hansen’s Disease Program. The program, which is operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration, conducts research on leprosy.

2017-05-11 Age of Earth Misrepresented by Wisconsin State Representative State, WI Bias and Misrepresentation Other

During a hearing of the Wisconsin legislature, state Representative Jesse Kremer stated that it is “fact” that the earth is only 6,000 years old, contradicting decades of scientific research showing that the earth is 4.5 billion years old.

2017-05-05 EPA Scientific Advisory Board Members Dismissed EPA, Federal Personnel Changes Other

EPA dismissed at least five academics serving on its scientific review board and indicated that it may replace them with industry representatives.

2017-05-03 Missouri Stream Gauges To Be Deactivated MO, State Budget Cuts, Research Hindrance Other

Due to state budget cuts, the Missouri Water Science Center will be forced to deactivate 20% of the state’s river and stream gauges, beginning in July 2017.

2017-05-02 Proven Scientific Theories Questioned by Alabama Legislature AL, State Interference with Education Climate, Other

The Alabama legislature passed a resolution labeling climate change, evolution, and human cloning as “controversial” theories and encouraging teachers to question their accuracy.

2017-05 Scientific Advice on Chemical Disregarded by EPA EPA, Federal Bias and Misrepresentation Other

EPA denied a petition to ban Chlorpyrifos, a chemical widely used as a pesticide, against the advice of top agency scientists who had warned that exposure exceeds safe levels in many areas.

2017-05 DOI Advisory Boards Suspended or Eliminated DOI, Federal Personnel Changes Climate, Other

DOI froze the work of more than 200 advisory boards, committees, and subcommittees to enable it to review “the charter and charge of each committee.” DOI also allowed the charter of the Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science to expire.

2017-04-11 Proposal to Defund State Research Centers Advanced by Iowa Legislature IA, State Budget Cuts Other

The Iowa legislature published its proposed state education budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017. Under the proposal, state funding for education would be cut by $20 million, compared to the 2016 fiscal year. The cuts would be achieved, in part, by eliminating funding for two research centers at Iowa State University.

2017-04-11 Funding for Oklahoma Science Fair Eliminated OK, State Budget Cuts, Interference with Education Other

The Oklahoma Science and Engineering Fair, and several regional science fairs, are to be cancelled in 2018 due to a lack of funding from the state government.

2017-04-10 Forensic Science Committee Disbanded DOJ, Federal Personnel Changes Other

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he would not renew the National Commission on Forensic Science, a 30 member advisory committee established to review forensic science standards.

2017-04 DOE Scientists Prevented from Attending Conference DOE, Federal Government Censorship Other

Up to 27 DOE scientists were told they could not attend the 2017 International Atomic Energy Agency conference.

2017-04 Oil and Gas Production Risks Downplayed on GAO Website Federal, GAO Government Censorship Climate, Other

A GOA website on managing federal oil and gas resources was edited to remove content on the environmental and public health risks of shale oil and gas production.

2017-03-08 Research into Industrial Hemp Prevented by Nevada Governor NV, State Research Hindrance Other

Nevada Governor Susana Martinez vetoed a bill authorizing the New Mexico Department of Agriculture to adopt rules for research into industrial hemp. As a result of the veto, research into industrial hemp remains prohibited in Nevada.

2017-03-07 Word “Science” Removed from EPA Science Office Website EPA, Federal Government Censorship Other

References to EPA’s Office of Science and Technology policy developing “science-based standards” were changed to read “economically and technologically achievable standards.”

2017-03-07 Teaching of Evolution Undermined in Louisiana LA, State Interference with Education Other

The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to amend a guidance document on the state’s science education standards. The amendment referenced the Louisiana Science Education Act, which encourages the teaching of alternatives to evolution.

2017-03-06 Bill Undermining Teaching of Evolution Introduced in Arkansas AK, State Interference with Education Other

A bill was introduced in the Arkansas legislature that would, if enacted, allow the unproven theories of intelligent design and creationism to be taught alongside evolution in schools.

2017-03-01 Bill Requiring Teachers to Question Proven Scientific Theories Introduced in Iowa IA, State Interference with Education Climate, Other

A bill was introduced in the legislature that would, if enacted, require teachers to present “opposing points of view or belief” when discussing evolution, the origins of life, and global warming. There is no requirement in the bill that the opposing points of view or beliefs presented be scientifically valid, leading to concerns that teachers will discuss unproven or discredited scientific concepts.

2017-03 WSU Researcher Investigated by Washington Legislators State, WA Government Censorship, Research Hindrance Other

Washington State Representative Joel Kretz and State Senator Mark Schoesler filed a scientific misconduct complaint against a Washington State University (WSU) professor in relation to a 2014 study he had conducted on wolf predation. Representative Kretz had previously sought to discredit the study, including by having the professor fired by WSU.

2017-02-27 Resolution Undermining Science Education Passed by Indiana Senate IN, State Interference with Education Other

The Indiana Senate passed a resolution urging support for the teaching of a diverse curriculum. Critics say this will undermine the integrity of science education, including by encouraging teachers to present a range of views on topics seen as controversial, such as evolution.

2017-02-23 New Teaching Materials Law Proposed in Florida FL, State Interference with Education Climate, Other

A bill was introduced in the Florida legislature that would, if enacted, allow residents to challenge teaching materials discussing evolution, climate change, and other topics they consider inappropriate.

2017-02-16 Bill to Eliminate State Environmental Quality Board Introduced in Minnesota MN, State Personnel Changes Climate, Other

Bills were introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate that would, if enacted, eliminate the state Environmental Quality Board which is responsible for coordinating work on environmental issues among state agencies.

2017-02-09 Bill Undermining Science Education Introduced in Texas State, TX Interference with Education Climate, Other

A bill was introduced in the Texas legislature that would, if enacted, allow the State Board of Education to reject any science textbook or other instructional materials that it deems unsuitable. According to critics, this would allow the board to reject materials that discuss controversial scientific theories (e.g., climate change and evolution), even if they are factually correct.

2017-02-08 Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine Slated for Closure State, WI Budget Cuts, Government Censorship Climate, Other

In his budget proposal for 2017-19, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker recommended that the state Department of Natural Resources cease publishing a bimonthly magazine, providing information on environmental issues. Critics say the move is intended to “create a vacuum and black out information on very important environmental issues” such as climate change.

2017-02-08 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Science Bureau Slated for Closure State, WI Budget Cuts, Personnel Changes Climate, Other

In his budget proposal for 2017-19, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker recommended eliminating the Department of Natural Resources’ central science services bureau, and reassigning its 15 staff to other positions.

2017-02-06 Bill Undermining Science Education Introduced in Oklahoma OK, State Interference with Education Climate, Other

A bill was introduced in the Oklahoma Senate that would, if enacted, prevent teachers being prohibited from discussing “the strengths and weaknesses” of any scientific theory. Critics say this will undermine science education, giving teachers greater scope to question proven scientific theories, and/or present alternative concepts that have been discredited or are unproven.

2017-02-06 Bill to Close State Environmental Laboratory Introduced in Oklahoma OK, State Personnel Changes Other

A bill was introduced in the Oklahoma Legislature that would, if enacted, require closure of the State Environmental Laboratory. The laboratory is currently responsible for testing the state’s 1,700 public water supply systems.

2017-02-03 EPA Employees Warned About Speaking Publicly EPA, Federal Government Censorship Climate, Other

EPA staff received an email warning them that, while they are free to speak publicly, doing so presents risks.

2017-02-02 Bill Labelling Proven Scientific Theories ‘Controversial’ Introduced in Texas State, TX Interference with Education Climate, Other

A bill was introduced in the Texas legislature that describes “climate change, biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, and human closing” as “controversial” theories. The bill would, if enacted, give teachers greater scope to question these and other proven scientific theories.

2017-02-01 Controversial Evolution Standard Supported by Texas Board of Education State, TX Interference with Education Other

The Texas State Board of Education voted preliminarily to retain language in its science education standards requiring students to consider “all sides” when discussing evolution. Critics say the requirement encourages the teaching of creationism as an alternative to the theory of evolution.

2017-02 Animal Welfare Documents Removed from USDA Website Federal, USDA Government Censorship Other

Thousands of documents detailing animal welfare violations were removed from USDA’s website after being made publicly available for decades.

2017-01-25 EPA Scientists’ Research Subject to Review Before Publication EPA, Federal Government Censorship, Research Hindrance Climate, Other

The head of communications for the EPA transition team indicated that agency scientists would be required to have their research reviewed before publication.

2017-01-20 Research Grants Suspended by EPA EPA, Federal, White House Budget Cuts Climate, Other

On December 20, 2017, Trump administration official ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend all research grants.

2017-01-19 Bill Encouraging Discussion of Creationism in Science Class Introduced in Florida FL, State Interference with Education Other

A bill was introduced in the Florida legislature that would, if enacted, allow the discussion of religious beliefs in schools. Critics allege that the bill is intended to undermine the teaching of evolution and encourage discussion of creationism in schools.

2017-01-11 Bill Undermining Science Education Introduced in South Dakota SD, State Interference with Education Climate, Other

A bill was introduced in the South Dakota legislature that would, if enacted, prevent teachers being prohibited from discussing “the strengths and weaknesses” of any scientific theory. Critics say this will undermine science education, giving teachers greater scope to question proven scientific theories, and/or present alternative concepts that have been discredited or are unproven.

2017-01 Public Communication by DOI Staff Restricted DOI, Federal Government Censorship Climate, Other

The Trump transition team instructed DOI staff not to send out press releases, post on social media or blogs, or update websites and to consult with senior officials before speaking to the media.

2017-01 Public Communication by HHS Staff Restricted Federal, HHS Government Censorship Other

The Trump transition team instructed HHS staff not to send out press releases, post on social media or blogs, or update websites and to consult with senior officials before speaking to the media.

2017-01 Public Communication by USDA Staff Restricted Federal, USDA Government Censorship Climate, Other

The Trump transition team instructed USDA staff not to send out press releases, post on social media or blogs, or update websites and to consult with senior officials before speaking to the media.

2017-01 DOE Advisory Board Disbanded DOE, Federal Personnel Changes Climate, Other

The Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, which was a key adviser to past DOE secretaries, was reportedly “sunset.” DOE has no plans to reconstitute the board at this time.

2017-01 Scientist Fired from Black Hawk College ID, State Interference with Education, Personnel Changes Other

Black Hawk College announced it would lay-off several faculty members, including a professor of geology, due to a lack of state funding.

2017 Materials Removed from HHS Website Federal, HHS Government Censorship Other

Between June and December 2017, various content was removed from the website of HHS’s Office of Women’s Health, including pages discussing breast cancer and lesbian and bisexual health.

2016-12 Kansas Bioscience Authority Privatized KS, State Budget Cuts Other

The Kansas legislature approved a proposal to privatize the Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA) as part of a plan to address shortfalls in the state budget. The KBA was established in 2004 to support research in the bioscience sector.

2016-12 Discredited Scientific Claims Promoted by Texas Health Department State, TX Bias and Misrepresentation Other

The Texas Department of State Health Services published a booklet for women considering abortion. The booklet includes several disproven scientific claims, including suggesting that abortions cause breast cancer, which the American Cancer Society has forcefully rejected.

2016-11-16 Bill to Abolish Agricultural Advisory Boards Introduced in Nevada NV, State Personnel Changes Other

A bill was introduced in the Nevada House of Representatives that would, if enacted, abolish the Garlic and Onion Growers Advisory Board, the Alfalfa Seed Advisory Board, and the Advisory Council for Organic Agricultural Products.