By: Robert Chapman
Any young scientist, at this moment, should be concerned about their future. “Will the conclusions reached by me and my collaborators be seen as ideologically unappealing?” “Will my findings impact my ability to secure extramural funding?” “Will my name be ‘blacklisted’?”
Firozi summarized recent concerns of scientists over the “media blackout of the EPA” in The Hill as a consequence of the administration’s defiance of accepted fact. It is understandable that the new administration would make changes to certain websites to reflect changes in leadership. It is acceptable to raise questions of scientific authority, but they should raise those questions in the spirit of curiosity, not disdain for the message conveyed by the results. Such bureaucratic scrutiny beyond accepted peer review does not, and should not, sit well among those in the scientific community. The status and authority of evidence-based, peer-reviewed science is at risk by those who would accept only that with which they agree.
Scientists concerned over the actions of the Trump administration are organizing the March for Science. Marchers will advocate for the role of science without political bias, and the freedom for scientists to communicate, without bureaucratic scrutiny, findings reached with the support of taxpayer dollars.
Firozi concludes, “An American government that ignores science to pursue ideological agendas endangers the world.” For those running our government who disagree with scientific conclusions so intensely as to deny the science of climate change research to the point of forcing an ideology of disbelief, voices in support of the evidence will continue to be heard.
Robert Chapman, Ph.D., is associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Midwestern University Chicago College of Pharmacy in Downers Grove, Illinois. His areas of research interest include the analysis, study, and the contemporary use of dietary supplements, the pharmacokinetics of antibiotics, and analytical methods development for biologically active natural products. The opinions stated are his own.