Obama Official to Scientists: Stand Up to Donald Trump

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Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told scientists on Wednesday to stand up to President-elect Donald Trump‘s administration if his appointees try to “undermine” science.

Jewell’s remarks, delivered in a keynote speech at the American Geophysical Union’s annual gathering in San Fransisco, follow a number of moves from Trump’s transition team that have raised alarm in the scientific community. “I encourage people to speak up and to talk about the importance of scientific integrity,” she said following the speech, in remarks reported by the Washington Post. “And if they see that being undermined to say something about it.”

Trump has appointed a number of people who question the scientific consensus of climate change, including former Texas Gov. Rick Perry as Secretary of Energy and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Trump’s transition team also attracted attention when it suggested that the new president might dismantle NASA’s Earth sciences program. A questionnaire sent to the Department of Energy asked the agency to name people who worked on climate issues, leading some to fear that the incoming administration might try to purge climate scientists from its ranks.

“Your science matters,” Jewell said in her speech. “I urge you to stay the course and keep up your commitment to your work.”


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Write to Justin Worland at justin.worland@time.com