When Donald Trump takes over the federal government on January 21, his administration will also gain complete control over much of the .gov suite of websites, which currently hosts a treasure trove of publicly available, taxpayer-funded scientific research. The academic world is bracing itself: Will that data remain available after his transition?
By Jason Koebler | MOTHERBOARD
Scientists and university professors all around the country and in Canada believe we’re about to see widespread whitewashing and redaction of already published, publicly available taxpayer-funded scientific research, databases, and interactive tools, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sea Level Rise viewer, NASA’s suite of climate change apps, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s maps of the country’s worst polluters. They also expect to see censorship, misrepresentation, and minimization of new government-funded research, specifically regarding climate change.
These fears are not based merely on a sense of dreading-the-worst from a man who has called climate change a Chinese hoax, nominated a climate change denier with close ties to the fossil fuel industry as head of the EPA, the CEO of ExxonMobil as Secretary of State, and will reportedly name the fossil fuel-friendly Rick Perry as Secretary of Energy. During the George W. Bush administration, which similarly denied that climate change is being caused by humans, there was widespread censorship and destruction of public-facing climate change information and research.