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Trump Administration’s Attacks on Science Already Surpass Two Bush Terms

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21.08.2019

On July 19, President Trump hosted Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins and their families, along with the family of their deceased colleague Neil Armstrong, at a White House event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon.

“Tomorrow will represent 50 years from the time we planted a beautiful American flag on the moon,” Trump said. “And that was an achievement, possibly one of the great, considered one of the great achievements ever.”

Trump’s fractured syntax notwithstanding, the Apollo program was indeed a stunning triumph of federal science, involving more than 34,000 National Aeronautics and Space Administration employees and 375,000 industry and university contractors. It was one of many spectacular achievements by federal and federally funded scientists over the last half-century, such as the creation of the internet, fiber optics and magnetic resonance imaging technology, not to mention the role those scientists played in providing the technical underpinning for health and environmental standards that save lives and protect critical ecosystems and wildlife habitats.

Trump’s lauding of the Apollo 11 mission rang a particularly discordant note given the lengths to which his administration has gone to destroy federal science by censoring scientific findings, gagging agency scientists and fostering a hostile working environment. Since taking office, the administration has launched more than 100 attacks on science, according to my organization, the Union of Concerned Scientists—more than the George W. Bush administration amassed over its two four-year terms.

Sidelining Science

Just a day before Trump’s Apollo photo op, for example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it would rejectscientific evidence and the recommendation of its own staff scientists by not banning........

© Common Dreams