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Union of Concerned Scientists

Restoring Scientific Integrity in Policy Making

Union of Concerned Scientists (Wikipedia)

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In February, 2004, the Union received press attention for their publication "Scientific Integrity in Policymaking". This report criticized the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush for "politicizing" science. Some of the allegations include altering reports by the Environmental Protection Agency on global warming and choosing members of scientific advisory panels based on their political views rather than scientific experience. In July 2004, the Union released an addendum to the report in which they criticize the Bush administration and allege that reports on West Virginia strip mining had been improperly altered, and that "well-qualified" nominees for government posts, such as Nobel laureate Torsten Wiesel were rejected because they were openly critical of the Bush Administration and its policies.

On April 2, 2004, Dr. John Marburger, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a statement claiming that incident descriptions in the UCS report are "false," "wrong," or "a distortion." Marburger expressed disappointment and dismissed the report as "biased." UCS rebuttal the White House document by saying that Marburger's claims were unjustified. UCS later noted that since that time, the Bush administration has been virtually silent on the issue.

On October 15, 2005, in response to what it termed a "changing political climate," the Union of Concerned Scientists announced the creation of a new "Scientific Integrity Program" to analyze and advocate scientific integrity and against politically-motivated interference.

On October 30, 2006, the Union issued a press release claiming that high-ranking members of the U.S. Department of the Interior, including Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Julie MacDonald, systematically tampered with scientific data in an effort to undermine the protection of endangered species and the Endangered Species Act

UCS is an independent nonprofit alliance of more than 100,000 concerned citizens and scientists. We augment rigorous scientific analysis with innovative thinking and committed citizen advocacy to build a cleaner, healthier environment and a safer world.

UCS's programs are the means by which we accomplish this. They are the pressure points translating vision into action. Through them, we connect the best scientific insights with the knowledge and support of an astute citizenry and apply them to the machinery of government at all levels—with results that have set a standard for effective advocacy for decades.

UCS was founded in 1969 by faculty members and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who were concerned about the misuse of science and technology in society. Their statement called for the redirection of scientific research to pressing environmental and social problems.

From that beginning, UCS has become a powerful voice for change. Our core groups of scientists and engineers collaborate with colleagues across the country to conduct technical studies on renewable energy options, the impacts of global warming, the risks of genetically engineered crops, and other related topics. We share the results of our research with policymakers, the news media, and the public.

Our experts work together with citizens across the country to disseminate our findings and alter policies in local communities as well as on the national level.

Our advocates are highly respected in Washington, DC, as well as in state capitals, and are frequently called to testify before government committees.

The UCS Online Action Network gives citizens the means to keep informed on our issues and to help shape policy by expressing their view to government and corporate decisionmakers.

Through our Sound Science Initiative, thousands of scientists provide the facts on environmental science to government and the media.

Knowing the enormity of the challenge, we actively work in coalition with other environmental groups that share our goals.