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In honor of Freedom of Information Day on March 15, ASPA is featuring a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, entitled Grading Government Transparency: Scientists Freedom to to Speak (and Tweet) at Federal Agencies.
According to the report, “A strong democracy depends on transparency, accountability, and trust in the government to make evidence-based decisions that protect public health and the environment. Federal scientists play an important role in fulfilling this mandate by providing critical expertise to decision makers and the American people.
But sometimes, political or commercial forces interfere with this process by altering data, silencing scientists, and preventing vital scientific information from reaching those who need it. Strong policies at federal agencies governing external communications—hereafter referred to as “media policies”—serve as the first line of defense in protecting government scientists and the public from such abuses.”
This report takes a deep look at and reveals the policies regarding scientists communications’ in 17 different federal agencies. These agencies policies are graded, and those grades as well as what they mean for scientific communications are available in this report.