Support Federal Scientists

Federal Scientists, Congress, and the US Department of the Interior

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This petition is not just a call for for science and transparency from Congress and the Department of the Interior. This is a rallying cry of support for federal scientists facing restrictions on one of the most important steps of scientific research: public communication.  

This week, the Los Angeles Times reported that the agency is restricting media access to federal scientists. Here's why that matters:

1. Reporters rely on federal scientists for accurate information about scientific research and policies.

2. The Department of the Interior is responsible for, among other things, research on natural hazards and climate change. Vital research on these topics risks being hidden from the public. We are restricting communications from the scientists who know this information best.

3. The research done by the Department of the Interior is funded by our taxpayer dollars. Their findings and work should be publicly communicated and transparent.  

Join us in demanding Science, Not Silence. Our government should be encouraging scientists to communicate with the public, not making that job more difficult.

Note: Comments left may be used as part of a campaign to demonstrate public support for federal scientists and open communication. You will be credited as First Name, Last initial, State

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To: Federal Scientists, Congress, and the US Department of the Interior
From: C.A. Matthews

We, the undersigned, ask that our legislators put in place policies to protect the public communication of science. Federal scientists are a vital source of research and understanding for the general public and their relationships with the media allows our community to stay up to date on federal research and scientific progress. Taxpayer dollars fund their work - we have a right to know what scientists have discovered and to benefit from their insights into scientific research and policy.

We ask that the Department of the Interior and all agencies who employ scientists and conduct scientific research institute policies protecting their employees against censorship and explicitly allowing them to communicate their research to the general public and media. These policies should be reinforced and codified by Congressional action. Scientific communication should be encouraged, not repressed. Scientists should not be required to seek consent for interviews on topics that their agencies decide are "controversial." In fact, these are the very subjects that we most need scientists to speak out on.

To the federal scientists facing restrictions and challenges: We support you and will continue to defend your right to communicate your research and knowledge to the general population. We will not waiver in our efforts to ensure that your work is used to educate the public and inform equitable, evidence-based policies for all.