Restoring Science, Protecting the Public

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Restoring Science, Protecting the Public

June 11, 2020
The cover of the memo series and its title, "Restoring Science, Protecting the Public."

We are dedicated to providing objective, evidence-based information about sexual health education and access to reproductive health care, including contraceptive access. Consistent with this commitment, we believe federal government scientists should be free to pursue research where it leads and communicate their results without political manipulation. The government should collect reliable data about public health and environmental threats and make it publicly available. Formal science advice to government should be robust and independent. Agency leaders should be qualified, ethical, and accountable.

We are therefore pleased to join with dozens of good-government, public health, environmental, consumer, and human and civil rights organizations that have collectively written and released Restoring Science, Protecting the Public: 43 Steps for the Next Presidential Term.

Always important, the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare how the nation suffers when data is not collected and science is sidelined or eliminated from policy decisions. To successfully emerge from the pandemic, we must rebuild not only the government’s scientific capacity but also the public’s trust in government’s ability to provide reliable information and make decisions that protect our health and well-being.

This series of memos provides concrete steps the next administration can take—without significant costs—to make government more effective, efficient, transparent, and accountable. These are principles of good government. They make it more likely that we can keep people safe. And, very importantly, they make it easier to reduce health disparities. Recommendations are offered in eight categories, including:

  • Federal advisory committees
  • Agency scientific independence
  • Restoring strength to scientific agencies
  • Scientific communications
  • Data collection and dissemination
  • Regulatory reform

These short memos will be shared with major presidential campaigns and transition teams in hopes that they will inform White House and executive branch priorities in 2021.