AGU Sends Letter to Federal Agencies Urging Protection of Scientific Integrity and Open Communication of Scientific Information

The American Geophysical Union expresses concern for scientific integrity and free communication of scientific information to the public at federal agencies

26 January 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Geophysical Union (AGU) wrote to federal agency heads on January 26, expressing concern over recent reports about violations of scientific integrity and interference with public access to and communication of scientific information.

In the letter AGU emphasized scientific integrity and transparency as critical to “advancing national security, a strong economy, public health, and food security.” AGU calls on the agencies, and the administration, to reverse policies that threaten scientific integrity and open communication as soon as possible and urges that they not be reinstated.

“Access to scientific information improves and informs many aspects of our everyday lives,” said Chris McEntee, AGU’s Executive Director and CEO. “AGU will be monitoring to see if the policies have been lifted and whether the scientific information that is currently available remains. It is critical to our economic success, national security and public health that the American people continue to receive to the most up-to-date scientific research and information.”

The letter was sent to the following agencies and institutions:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of the Interior
  • Department of State
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • National Park Service
  • National Science Foundation
  • United States Geological Survey

AGU has a position statement related to scientific integrity entitled, “AGU Supports Free and Open Communication of Scientific Findings.” The statement was adopted in 2011 and reaffirmed in September 2016.

In late 2016, AGU launched a petition calling on the new Administration to make the appointment of a scientific advisor a top priority. The petition currently has nearly 9,000 signatures.

The American Geophysical Union is dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. AGU is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization representing 60,000 members in 137 countries. Join the conversation on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and our other social media channels.


AGU Contact:

Joan Buhrman
Assistant Director, Strategic Communications
Phone: +1 202 777 7509

Joshua Speiser
Manager, Strategic Communications
Phone: +1 202 777 7444

Caitlyn Camacho
Program Manager, Strategic Communications
Phone: +1 202 777 7423