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Integrity of Science

The Pacific Institute's Integrity of Science Initiative responds to and counters the assault on science and scientific integrity in the public policy arena, especially on issues related to water, climate change, and security.

Read Case Studies in Integrity of Science here.

As far back as the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin embodied the ideal of integrating science and fact with diplomacy and politics. This tradition of fact-based governing continued through more than two centuries of advances in science and in the tools and avenues for moving scientific information into the policy arena. During the past decade, however, a small number of organizations have waged a concerted effort to substitute partisan “science” in order to advance narrow political agendas, silence researchers, and muddy good science.

Some of the anti-science efforts have been well-publicized. The media paid close attention to the deliberate tampering and editing of EPA climate change documents by non-science senior White House officials. Unfortunately, most efforts to subvert science do not command such media attention. As a result, these efforts to undermine sound policymaking and blur the public perceptions of science go unanswered and are alarmingly successful.

Using science to develop effective public policy is the unifying theme of the Pacific Institute’s programs, which is why we are deeply troubled by the assault on science and scientific integrity in the public policy arena. To counter this assault, the Institute launched its Integrity of Science Initiative.

Supporting Good Science and
Opposing the Anti-Science Agenda
The Pacific Institute’s Integrity of Science Initiative supports sound science, exposes fraudulent use and abuse of scientific discovery, and educates policymakers and the public.

As part of our efforts , the Institute has:

  • Prepared a series of case studies on abuses of science.
  • Worked to educate journalists on the science behind climate change, the economics of effective water policies, and the dark side of bottled water marketing.
  • Successfully fought off a lawsuit from a “climate skeptic” who, when the Institute questioned the scientific merit of their efforts, accused the Institute of libel. Science distorters have effectively used threats of lawsuit to silence those who refute their findings or speak up against them.
  • Joined more than 8,000 scientists in an effort by the Union of Concerned Scientists to voice concern over the George W. Bush administration’s misuse of science.
  • Written numerous editorials for newspapers, magazines, and on-line publications calling for an end to science-bashing in the public sphere.

Going forward, the Institute is taking new steps to combat science-bashers:

  • Convening an ad hoc science advisory review panel.
  • Working with likeminded organizations to combine our strengths at every level of government.
  • Developing fact-sheets for journalists who cover science and environment issues.

What can you do?
If you are aware of instances of science misuse and abuse, from personal experience or your local paper, bring them to our attention! E-mail integrityofscience(at)pacinst.org.

Subscribe to the Pacific Institute’s monthly Online Update to receive news on this and other Institute work.

Read Case Studies in Integrity of Science here.

Contribute to the Pacific Institute’s Integrity of Science Initiative with an online donation.

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Integrity of Science Initiative (Photo: Amanda Baker)

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RELATED RESOURCES

The Integrity of Science and Climate Change: Logical Fallacies and Abuse of Science

Misrepresenting Climate Science:
Cherry-picking Data to Hide the Disappearance of Arctic Ice


Science Magazine Letter: Gleick among 255 National Academy of Sciences Members Signing Published Statement Defending Climate Science Integrity

The Best Argument Against Global Warming

Public Comment on the EPA's Drinking Water Preliminary Regulatory Determination

Driving vs. Walking: Cows, Climate Change, and Choice

Hummer vs. Prius 2008 Redux

Bottled Water and Energy: Getting to 17 Million Barrels

Case Study: Cherry-Picking Climate Data in the White House - UPDATE, 06/01/07 (PDF)

Case Study: Hummer versus Prius & the Bad Science of "Dust to Dust"

Defining and Protecting the Integrity of Science:
New Challenges for the 21st Century

Peter Gleick's ENN Commentaries

Challenging The Skeptical Environmentalist (PDF)

Environment Magazine 2002 Review of Lomborg's The Skeptical Environmentalist

Legal Threats Against
Climate Scientists

External links:

UCS's Scientific Integrity work