“An executive order issued by US President Donald Trump has sown confusion and fear among government scientists in the country. Announced by the White House on 21 October, the order creates a job category for government workers — such as scientists — that makes it easier to fire people shifted into these positions. Researchers fear that this is yet another attack in a four-year war on science waged by the Trump administration.
If put into action, the order would be most keenly felt by scientists involved in policymaking. When agencies draft policies, in-house experts discuss and challenge the proposed rules to ensure that decisions are evidence-based, says Tim Whitehouse, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, an organization that provides legal support to government whistle-blowers, in Silver Spring, Maryland. Under the order, says Whitehouse, scientists might not participate freely in crafting policies out of fear of losing their jobs.”