People walking through revolving door

Removing Barriers to Evidence-Based Decisions

Working to ensure that science plays its role in policies that affect us all.

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Working to ensure that science plays its role in policies that affect us all.

Decisions that affect everyone’s well-being need to be grounded in facts and evidence. This should go without saying, but too often policy choices are driven by narrow private interests that stand to benefit from ignoring or distorting science, putting public health and safety at risk. The Center for Science and Democracy promotes processes that support evidence-based decisionmaking, fighting back against attacks on public safeguards and exposing disinformation tactics.

Defending public safeguards from attack

The Clean Air Act. The Clean Water Act. The Endangered Species Act. Firmly grounded in scientific evidence, these protections, and others like them, have made the United States a safer, healthier place to live. But in recent years there have been persistent efforts in Congress and within federal agencies to weaken these safeguards. We’re working to keep them strong.

Fighting misinformation and inappropriate influence

Some private interests that view science-based solutions as a threat to their bottom lines try to derail those solutions by distorting or drowning out the science—publishing bogus research, manufacturing uncertainty, harassing scientists, or buying credibility through academic affiliations. And deep-pocketed corporations can also derail science-based policy through lobbying, campaign contributions, or “revolving door” relationships with federal agencies, which allow them disproportionate influence over the process. We expose and push back against these tactics.

Championing the role of science advice

Science advisory committees are a little-known but vitally important component of the federal policymaking system. They provide independent expert advice to policymakers, helping to ensure that decisions reflect the best available science. Weakening, eliminating, or “packing” these committees is a favorite tactic for sidelining science. We fight to defend their crucial role.

Bringing science to critical issues

As federal, state and local governments deliberate on policy decisions, we work to ensure that scientific evidence is reflected in those decisions, producing original research and analysis, organizing public comments, testimony and petitions, and providing informed commentary on our blog. We’ve spoken up for science-based policies on fracking, added sugar labeling, air pollution standards, and other issues.

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