“Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.” (Emphasis added) George Washington, Farewell Address (1796)
Perhaps the most egregious suppression of Science occurs when regulators and policymakers willfully silence, distort or ignore findings in fields such as Environmental Science, Health Science and military technology, effectively replacing the will of the people with the political, financial or ideological interests of another group.
Some of the most flagrant censorship of Science in United States history occurred during the administration of George W. Bush. Substantial evidence has been amassed showing that scientific integrity was frequently compromised where it served this administration’s political interests. We are likely to feel the effects of the deceptions that occured during this era for some time.
Department of Defense contractors attempt to block FOIA request
In 2004, two journalists filed FOIA requests to obtain information about the quality assurance systems of Department of Defense contractors. The government found some of the relevant information confidential but later decided, instead of withholding the documents, they would release redacted versions. In response to the proposed release, two major defense contractors sued the Department of Defense to stop the disclosure.
The contractors argued that the documents contained proprietary information that if released could provide competitors with inside information. The judge, however, ruled that the government had sufficiently redacted the documents to protect the proprietary information.