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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2009
1:51 PM

CONTACT: Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)

Lisa Nurnberger, 202-331-6959

Obama Administration Follows UCS Recommendations to Protect Scientific Integrity

Statement by Francesca Grifo, Union of Concerned Scientists

WASHINGTON - March 9 - Today President Obama issued a memorandum that follows Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) recommendations to prevent the abuse, manipulation and suppression of federal science.

The following is a statement by Dr. Francesca Grifo, director of the UCS's Scientific Integrity Program:

"Just a few years ago, more than 17,000 scientists across the country signed a UCS-sponsored statement denouncing the politicization of federal science, and today's memorandum is proof that the Obama administration heard their cry. Federal policy decisions that affect public health and the environment must be based on robust scientific analysis free of political interference and manipulation.

"UCS surveys at nine agencies have documented that, over the past eight years, federal scientists have been working in a climate of fear and intimidation. For example, 60 percent of the EPA scientists who filled out a 2007 survey said they personally experienced at least one instance of political interference in their work over the previous five years.

"We've reach an important milestone in restoring scientific integrity to federal decisionmaking, but a lot of work remains to be done to ensure interference does not occur in the future. I'm hoping the administration works with Congress to adopt new laws, such as whistleblower protections, that will ensure future administrations cannot commit the kinds of abuses we've seen over the last eight years."

For more about UCS federal scientist surveys, go to: www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/scientific_integrity/Voices_of_Federal_Scientists.pdf 

For UCS's recommendations to the Obama administration, go to:

www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/solutions/big_picture_solutions/transition-main-page.html       

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The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.


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