Maintaining Scientific Integrity
Public agency scientists are under growing political pressure to alter, dilute, or suppress their findings on issues of controversy. All too frequently, government leaders repudiate or interfere with the work of scientists when evidence supports policies that threaten powerful interests. This is especially true for those scientists working on environmental and public health issues, who must contend with:
- The suppression of science related to climate change and energy uses;
- Altering or disregarding environmental impact assessments;
- Interference in research and staff decisions;
- Retaliation for conclusion that are inconvenient to a political viewpoint or that expose scientific integrity abuses.
For each story in the news, scores of other instances are taking place behind the scenes in government laboratories, in grant review sessions, and in field stations across the country. On issues ranging from climate change to children’s health to pollution permits to land management issues, public agency scientists are being censored, obstructed, and marginalized.
PEER provides free, accessible, and completely confidential legal consultation and counsel to government scientists. We work to keep government science strong, independent, and transparent so that it can support effective decision-making.
NEWS FROM PEER
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$100,000 Payment and Belated Secretary’s Award Resolves Whistleblower Complaint
Fish & Wildlife Service Forces Contractor to Axe Scientists Due to Sign-On Letter
Several Agencies Still Yet to Finalize While Others Field Weak or Incomplete Policies
Contract for Quick Limited Peer Review Designed to Give Illusion of Impartiality
Rare Apology Coupled with Promise of More Collaborative & Transparent Posture
Review Asked for Overhead of Up to 50% in Open-Ended Reclamation Contracts
Complaint Deemed Factual but Inaccuracies Excused as “Normal Practice”
Interior Rejects IG Call for Further Scientific Reviews yet Case Remains Open
After Charges Discredited, Drowned Polar Bear Case Reopened Without Explanation
Blames Lack of “Seamless Data” for Excluding Livestock from Range Assessments
Scientists File Complaint Citing Political Interference and Censorship
“Cut & Paste Error” Accepted as Basis for Hiding True Spill Rate in Official Reports
Successful Mediation Under Auspices of U.S. Office of Special Counsel
Landscape Assessments in Limbo after Scientists Told to Ignore Livestock Impacts
Staff Survey Shows Only 60% Believe IG Operates “Free from Improper Influence”
Unrelated Disclosures from 2007 and 2008 Dredged Up in Questionable Reprimand
Cursory Findings by FWS Official Prompt Calls for Independent Scientific Review
One-Third of Federal Agencies Still Lack Final Policies, Others Are Incomplete
Salazar’s Press Office Wanted No Traceable Trail on Scientific Accuracy Protests
Improper Pressure to Lower Recovery Threshold for Wolf Numbers and Habitat Size