Do you feel like scientific work is too politicized? Based on its own employees’ assessments, 73% of scientists working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) reported that the agency gives too much weight to political interests.
A new report released today by Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), Progress and Problems: Government Scientists Report on Scientific Integrity at Four Agencies, reveals results of a survey of 7,000 scientists at four federal agencies—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The survey asked scientists about scientific integrity, communications, and agency effectiveness.
A significant number of scientists (46 to 73 percent of respondents across agencies) reported that political interests at their agencies were given too much weight in their agencies. At 73% ,USFWS is the agency with the biggest problems with scientific integrity. Many scientists told UCS that scientific decisions were being swayed by politics or that political influence inhibited their ability to carry out agency missions. One respondent from NOAA said that scientific integrity could best be improved if the agency could “stop giving in to political and industry pressure when making scientific decisions.”
You can also find the report methodology, results, comparison with past UCS surveys, all of the open-ended responses to questions, and the survey instrument all online at www.ucsusa.org/scientistsurvey.
Read more here.
USFWS: The Federal Agency Charged With Conserving Endangered Species
Science has concluded that we have entered an unprecedented period of climate change and human-caused Sixth Mass extinction. Today we are faced with the growing challenge of helping imperiled species heal and flourish and supporting biodiversity for future generations. To succeed, it’s essential that science drives Endangered Species Act decisions, not backroom politics.
Despite its success and public support, the ESA is under attack like never before. Some members of Congress have introduced dozens of legislative proposals that seek to gut the ESA, block its protections for wolves, other imperiled species and habitat, and obstruct our ability to enforce this federal law.
Please urge your congressional representative and senators to preserve the spirit and integrity of this robust federal law and to oppose any legislation that takes aim at imperiled wildlife!