The House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), conducted a hearing on the censorship of government climate scientists. Among the issues the committee addressed was the suppression of federal scientists’ speech and writing, the distortion and suppression of research results, and retaliation against those who protest these acts.
In response to the hearing, nine prominent First Amendment organizations, including the American Association of University Professors, American Library Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, American Civil Liberties Union, Association of American Publishers, National Center for Science Education, National Coalition Against Censorship, PEN American Center, and People For the American Way issued a statement commenting on the First Amendment concerns raised by this form of censorship.
The statement warns of the consequences of suppression or distortion of information that is essential to sound public policy and government accountability and applauds “the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) on their efforts to inform the public about this critical issue and look forward to their continuing oversight. The testimony provided at the hearing strongly supports the Committee’s continued vigilance to ensure that federal policy is informed by the highest quality of scientific information and that federal officials respect not just the letter but the spirit of the Constitution by encouraging free and open debate on matters of public concern.”
The statement was organized by NCAC, which has examined the constitutional ramifications of censorship of science to serve political objectives.
» Read the Statement