WASHINGTON (NEWS10) — Congressman Paul D. Tonko sent a letter to President Joe Biden following his inauguration calling for the new Administration to establish strong federal scientific integrity policies immediately. Also, he asked for Biden’s support in advancing the Scientific Integrity Act, which sets clear, enforceable standards for federal agencies and federally-funded research to keep public science independent from political or special interest meddling.
Tonko was joined in this letter by Representatives Haley Stevens (D-MI) and Alan Lowenthal (D-CA).
“Scientific integrity embodies the principles that solidify public trust in the conduct, dissemination, and use of scientific research to run the Federal government safely and effectively,” The lawmakers write. “Sadly, recent years have shown science in retreat in our governing and public discourse. In this moment, strengthening our systems for free and independent public science is one of the most important, most urgent things we can do to equip ourselves for the challenges ahead, for ourselves, our children, and for generations to come.”
The letter continues, “All of us need to know that we can trust our leaders and our government to tell the truth, whether regarding the safety of vaccines, chemicals, food or consumer products, and much more. Scientific integrity policies are the foundation for that faith and confidence. We urge your administration to leverage the momentum you have built as a champion of science to take immediate action and establish strong scientific integrity policies as a standard across the federal government. This single step will add to your ongoing efforts to undo steps by the Trump administration to deprioritize, censor, and stall climate science, and to safeguard federal science from any such interference in the future.”
Tonko’s Scientific Integrity Act has garnered more than 230 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle and has passed out of the full House several times, including in a key energy package in September 2020.
The full text of the letter can be read here.