Protesters gather in front of the offices of Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) as part of a nationwide rally organized to protest the nominations of climate change deniers in the cabinet of President Donald Trump on 9 January 2017. Photo: Justin Lane / European Pressphoto Agency

By Joel Achenbach
26 January 2017

(The Washington Post) – Leaders of several of the nation's top science organizations say they've been shunned by the Trump administration and are alarmed by signs that the administration will muzzle government researchers and reject the scientific evidence that informs such critical issues as vaccine safety and climate change.

Their comments in interviews with The Washington Post come as scientists around the country are considering a grass-roots revolt against President Trump that could include a march on Washington. The sudden eruption of activism among people typically more comfortable in a laboratory or manipulating equations was incited in part by reports that the Trump administration is restricting the ability of government employees, including scientists, to communicate with the public.

“The signals are not encouraging, and they’re alarming, and they’re causing a lot of fear in the scientific community,” said Christine McEntee, chief executive and executive director of the American Geophysical Union.

“I’ve never seen the scientific community so concerned,” said Rush Holt, chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.This goes way beyond funding. When fake news is accepted as just one of the alternate approaches, then there are serious problems to be addressed.”

Matthew Scott, president of the Washington-based Carnegie Institution for Science, said he was dismayed that, during the transition, Trump's team did not embrace input from the leaders of the scientific community.

“There doesn’t seem to be anyone responding to inquiries from these leaders of extremely important organizations of scientists,” Scott said. “What’s happening is that scientists are being excluded, as far as we can tell, in advising the government and participating in the government even though there are many scientists who view it as an imperative to serve their country.” [more]

The nation’s top scientists can’t get through to Trump — and they’re alarmed



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