Yesterday’s report, published by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and the Government Accountability Project (GAP), was based on questionnaire data received from over three hundred scientists. Over one third (37 per cent) of those who responded had experienced statements by officials at their agencies that had misrepresented their findings, and 43 percent ‘perceived or personally experienced’ changes or edits during review that changed the meaning of scientific findings.
Nearly half of all the scientists (46 per cent) said that they had come under pressure to remove the terms ‘climate change’ or ‘global warming’ from their documents.
Dr. Francesca Grifo, Director of the UCS Scientific Integrity Program, said:
"Every day that the government stifles climate science is a day we fail to protect future generations and our planet from the consequences of global warming. We need reforms that affirm the right of scientists to fully communicate their research and to blow the whistle when important science is suppressed."
The report calls on the US government to respect the right of scientists to speak freely to the press about their findings, to ensure that scientists are given ‘last right of review’ on material to be published, and that a new law should be introduced requiring regular assessments of climate change to be carried out.
This article first appeared in the Ecologist February 2007