Survey finds that many researchers are banned from speaking about their work or have had their research altered to downplay risks.
Environmental scientists in Australia say that they are under increasing pressure from their employers to downplay research findings or avoid communicating them at all. More than half of the respondents to an online survey thought that constraints on speaking publicly on issues such as threatened species, urban development, mining, logging and climate change had become worse in recent years1.
If I told you I wanted to talk about political players editing or silencing academic voices about climate change, you might assume I was talking about a zealous dictatorship. Perhaps of late, you might think I would be speaking about ‘Agent Orange’ (thanks for that Spike). Close… we’re discussing Australia in September 2020.
Australian scientists aren’t the only ones who have reported interference in science or pressure — particularly from government employers — to downplay research findings. Scientists in the United States, Canada and Brazil have also reported such intrusions in the past decade.