The U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has been advised by noble laureates to give science its due respect. He received an open letter from the scientific community made up of over 2,300 scientists – including 22 Noble Prize winners.
Image shows U.S. President-elect Donald Trump (Noble Peace Prize winner 2016).
Trump was advised to “ensure that the federal government will support scientific inquiry and rely upon it when shaping public policy.”
The letter which was published late last week, is aimed at influencing decisions as the U.S. Congress prepare for its 115th session.
A total of four points were raised in the open letter, urging Mr Trump and his Congress to:
- Build a strong and open culture of science with America at the forefront.
- Void laws which tend to hamper scientific development, like the Clean Air Act.
- Strictly adhere to high standards for scientific integrity and independence, and
- Provide adequate resources for federal scientists to conduct their work.
According to the letter: “These steps are necessary to create a thriving scientific enterprise that will strengthen our democracy and bring the full fruits of science to all Americans and the world.
“The scientific community is fully prepared to constructively engage with and closely monitor the actions of the Trump administration and Congress.
“We will continue to champion efforts that strengthen the role of science in policymaking and stand ready to hold accountable any who might seek to undermine it.
“To build on this legacy and extend the benefits of science to all people, including Americans who have been left behind, the federal government must support and rely on science as a key input for crafting public policy.
“Policymakers and the public alike require access to high-quality scientific information to serve the public interest.”
Signatories to the open letter are American citizens from all 50 states who believe that general well-being and health should be a top priority. They urged Trump to ensure that every American, including other foreign nationals, should be taken into consideration when the Congress formulates policies or enact laws.
The noble laureates also argued that only when “policies are informed by science unfettered by inappropriate political or corporate influence,” will life have meaning for everyone.
“Scientists are mobilizing because transition team members and potential Cabinet appointees have a demonstrated history of suppressing science and attacking scientists when the results prove inconvenient,” Michael Halpern, the deputy director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said to Yahoo News.
“And when science is politicized, it’s the health and environment of the American people who suffer.
“The scientific community felt the need to set clear and reasonable expectations while the President-elect is assembling his team, before he steps into the White House.”
The organization is hoping to create a condusive environment where federal scientists can carry out researches without interference from the government or private bodies. They most importantly wish to have the freedom to release their findings without fear or threats of violence.
“A thriving federal scientific enterprise has enormous benefits to the public,” said Nobel Laureate Carol Greider, director of molecular biology and genetics at Johns Hopkins University.
“Experts at federal agencies prevent the spread of diseases, ensure the safety of our food and water, protect consumers from harmful medical devices and so much more.
“The new administration must ensure that federal agencies can continue to use science to serve the public interest.”
In the same release, physicist Lewis Branscomb, who directed the National Bureau of Standards under President Nixon, said a prerequisite for any cabinet position should be respect for the role of science in policymaking.
“Americans recognize that science is critical to improving our quality of life, and when science is ignored or politically corrupted, it’s the American people who suffer,” Branscomb said.
U.S. President Barack Obama meets with the country’s 2016 Noble Prize winners at the White House.
The Nobel Prizes are prizes awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Swedish Academy, the Karolinska Institute, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee to individuals and organizations who make outstanding contributions in the fields of chemistry, physics, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine.
They were established by the 1895 will of Alfred Nobel, which dictates that the awards should be administered by the Nobel Foundation.