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Press Releases :: February 16, 2005

Rep. Gordon and Rep. Waxman Introduce Legislation to Protect Scientific Integrity

WASHINGTON, DC - Rep. Bart Gordon, Ranking Democrat on the House Science Committee, joined colleague Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Ranking Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee, today in introducing legislation (H.R. 839) to restore scientific integrity to Federal research and policymaking.

"Scientific progress occurs when we foster the open exchange of ideas and information," said Rep. Gordon.  "We must maintain a culture of openness and freedom of inquiry if we are to maintain the preeminent status of this nation in the world scientific community, develop new technologies, and to safeguard our environment and public health."

The legislation, entitled the "Restore Scientific Integrity to Federal Research and Policymaking Act," safeguards the federal government’s sponsorship of research and its use in policymaking.

Specifically, the bill:

  • Prohibits litmus tests based on political affiliation for scientific advisory committees;
  • Blocks tampering with scientific analysis;
  • Outlaws censorship of scientific reports;
  • Stops dissemination of scientific information known to be false or misleading; and
  • Extends whistleblower protections to federal employees who expose scientific manipulations.

"From abstinence education to the protection of endangered whales, the Bush Administration has twisted and distorted science to further a narrow political agenda," said Rep. Waxman.  "We need to act now to protect the scientific integrity of federal agencies."

"This legislation will ensure that scientific integrity remains the hallmark of all science conducted in this nation," added Rep. Gordon.  "The Administration has turned a deaf ear on the science community’s call to restore scientific integrity in policymaking, including the voices of 48 Nobel Laureates, 62 National Medal of Science recipients, and 135 members of the National Academy of Sciences.  Federal scientists should be free to conduct their research without fear of political censorship."

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