This op-ed was coauthored by GAP Executive Director Mary Brumder, and Kathleen Rest, executive director of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The Bush administration's suppression and distortion of scientific research in federal agencies has been both widespread and remarkable - and it cannot be allowed to continue.
The new Congress has an opportunity to restore integrity and objectivity to federal science, and prevent its continued manipulation for political purposes.
To achieve this, Congress must protect the whistle-blower rights of federal government scientists. By continually weakening critical science agencies, this administration is threatening our nation's unparalleled legacy of scientific achievement.
This administration's political interference in science has occurred in agencies throughout the federal government. Climate-science agencies have been notable targets. There, the administration has regularly misrepresented the science, quashed reports, and hampered reporters' access to experts to support the president's desire to avoid regulating emissions that cause global warming. NASA's lead climate scientist, James Hansen, revealed last year that he had been pressured by a political appointee to stop speaking about the dangers of the earth's increasing temperatures. Even when Hansen spoke about global warming as a private citizen, NASA officials threatened him with "dire consequences" if he did not stop.