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Monday, February 18, 2008

Bill of Rights for Federal Scientists

A Bill of Rights for Scientists
The Union of Concerned Scientists wants Congress to pass a Scientists' Bill of Rights to protect federal researchers from political pressure and intrusion. Steve Mirsky reports. For more information, go to http://www.ucsusa.org/scientificfreedom.

On February 14th, the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a call for the protection of federal scientists. The UCS press conference took place in space made available by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, whose annual meeting is taking place in Boston. Francesca Grifo is the director of the UCS’s scientific integrity program: “As we transition to the next administration, regardless of who we vote to place at its helm, we must ensure that the falsifying of data; the fabricating of results; the selective editing; the intimidation, censoring and suppression of scientists; the corruption of advisory panels; and the tampering with scientific procedures all stop.”

To that end, the UCS wants Congress to pass a scientists’ bill of rights. Kurt Gottfriend is professor of physics emeritus at Cornell University and a cofounder of the UCS: “We therefore call on the next president and Congress to codify the basic freedoms that federal scientists must have if they are to produce the scientific knowledge that is needed by a government dedicated to the public good.”

—Steve Mirsky, at the AAAS conference in Boston

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I live on the Pacific slopes of the Talamanca mountain range in southern Costa Rica. My adult children live in the United States. I have a Masters Degree in Gerontology but have worked as a migrant laborer, chicken egg collector, radio broadcaster, secretary, social worker, research director, bureaucrat, writer, editor, political organizer, publicist, telephone operator, and more. My hobby of photography has garnered some awards.

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