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Varied Opinions

A survey of government scientists in the US finds a range of opinions on Trump Administration policies, Science reports.

The Union of Concerned Scientists surveyed more than 63,000 federal workers at 16 agencies — including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency — to get 4,211 responses. The group asked the government researchers about the morale at their agency as well as whether any political or business interests have affected the ability of their agency to fulfill its make science-based decisions or whether they feel they can express concerns without fear of retaliation.

Overall, the respondents reported political interference in the science policy process, though the UCS says it varies by agency. In particular, about 48 percent of respondents from the CDC say political interests at the agency affect science-based decision making, while 32 percent at FDA do. In addition, about 13 percent of CDC respondents said the White House was a barrier to science-based decision-making.

Most respondents, though, either had increased or no change in their job satisfaction, Science adds.

Science notes that the survey has a number of drawbacks, including a low response rate, and didn't include agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Author Jacob Carter from UCS tells Science that the survey focused on regulatory agencies where there have been complaints of scientific integrity.