Scientific Integrity Whistleblower Project
www.SpeakOutforScience.org

Open Letter to Federal Government Scientists

To Federal Government Scientists:

Scientific integrity is the foundation of our government’s scientific research and achievement. For decades, the thousands of US Government scientists at agencies like the EPA, NASA, NSF and many others were free to follow the facts where they led. From cleaning up our nation’s air and water to predicting hurricane paths and conducting basic scientific research, our government scientists have helped increase our economic productivity, quality of life and save lives.

Although Republican and Democratic administrations may have disagreed on how to incorporate scientific findings into the policy arena, government scientists were free to publish and share their findings with other scientists and the public at large free from political interference. Unfortunately, the current administration has chosen to engage in an all-out war on science.

Before inauguration day, President Trump’s transition team requested the names of staffers who worked on climate change initiatives.[1] In March, an office within the Department of Interior banned staff from using the phrases “climate change” and “Paris Agreement” in agency communications.[2] Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke even went so far as to accuse more than a third of his workforce as being “not loyal to the flag”.[3] Just last week the EPA barred three scientists from speaking about climate change at a conference.[4] The list goes on and on.

All of this led to the administration being charged with “creating a hostile environment for federal agency scientists”.[5] That’s why today, 314 Action, a nationwide pro-science nonprofit with a membership of nearly a quarter of a million scientists and pro-science advocates from all over the country is launching the Scientific Integrity Whistleblower Project to shine a light on scientific wrongdoing in this administration.

The Scientific Integrity Whistleblower Project (www.speakoutforscience.org) allows government scientists or others who have witnessed malfeasance, science being silenced or other evidence of this administration’s war on science to anonymously and securely provide details and evidence directly to one of our attorneys. Please visit our website at www.speakoutforscience.org to see all the methods in which you can securely and anonymously share messages and files with our attorneys. In addition, our attorneys will be available to answer calls starting this next week Tuesday, November 7, 2017 from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. We ask that you do not contact our attorneys when you are at work or when you are on duty, and plan to provide additional hours for our attorney hotline in the future.

Our lawyers at Garvey Schubert Barer have asked us to let you know that the law generally provides whistleblower protections for government scientists who challenge censorship or make disclosures related to the integrity of the scientific process.  In particular, the law protects disclosures of information that an employee reasonably believes are evidence of censorship related to research, analysis, or technical information that cause, or will cause, gross government waste or mismanagement, an abuse of authority, a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, or any violation of law.  You should consult the EPA’s website for additional information about whistleblower protections at the EPA and how they relate to non-disclosure agreements signed by EPA employees.[6] Please do not submit any information if doing so would violate any law, rule or regulation.

Speaking out in this climate can be a difficult decision, but recently some have finally started to shed a light on scientific wrongdoing. Winning the war on science isn’t about politics, it’s about putting our country first. Speak up. Speak out.

Sincerely,

Scientific Integrity Whistleblower Project

 

[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/09/trump-transition-team-for-energy-department-seeks-names-of-employees-involved-in-climate-meetings

[2] https://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/energy-department-climate-change-phrases-banned-236655

[3] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/09/26/zinke-says-a-third-of-interiors-staff-is-disloyal-to-trump-and-promises-huge-changes

[4] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/22/climate/epa-scientists.html

[5] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/07/25/has-trump-sidelined-restricted-government-scientists-yes

[6] https://www.epa.gov/ocr/whistleblower-protections-epa-and-how-they-relate-non-disclosure-agreements-signed-epa-employees