Juliet Eilperin and Chris Mooney report in The Washington Post that more than 2,300 scientists, including 22 Nobel Prize winners, have issued an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump and the 115th Congress, urging them to “adhere to high standards of scientific integrity and independence in responding to current and emerging public health and environmental health threats.”
The scientists represent a broad range of disciplines: At least 440 in biology, 350 in ecology, 180 in environmental science, 171 in earth science, 108 in chemistry and 40 in agriculture signed the letter.
The letter underscores the extent to which many scientists, who have worked with the Obama administration to address climate change, pandemics and other major policy issues, are worried about whether Trump and his deputies will slash science funding and overhaul the way several federal agencies operate.
Andrew Rosenberg, who directs the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy and whose group organized the letter, said he and other scientists have become concerned both by comments Trump made over the course of the campaign and some of the people who have been advising him on energy, the environment and public health.
“We need to make sure there’s not political manipulation of the science,” Rosenberg said, adding that part of the challenge he and others face is there is not an obvious point person on the transition team who is communicating with outside constituency groups. “It’s hard to figure out even who to have a conversation with. There doesn’t seem to be much of an opening.”
The list of distinguished signatories, who hail from all 50 states, includes medical scientists, physicists and many climate researchers.
The Nobel laureates include Harold Varmus, who headed the National Cancer Institute under President Obama; David Baltimore, the former president of Caltech; and Mario Molina, who helped discover the role of chlorofluorocarbons in depleting the ozone layer.
James Hansen, the longtime NASA researcher who had previously denounced George W. Bush’s administration for interfering with his ability to communicate publicly the science of climate change, also signed the letter.
For the full Washington Post story, click here.