White House Report on Government Interference with Science

A new White House report warns that “statistical agencies, such as the Census Bureau, must protect against interference in their efforts to create and release data that provide a set of common facts to inform policymakers, researchers, and the public. (Statistical agencies may be implicated when external researchers misuse or misinterpret statistical data, but their scientific integrity policies do not extend to subsequent analyses of data they release.)”

The report also uses the 2020 Census as a case example, since it “faced scientific integrity challenges related to two issues that deviated from best scientific practice: a proposal to add a citizenship question to the census, and denial of a request to extend the deadline for completing the census and releasing the data.” The report laments that “no individuals have been held accountable” for allegations about political interference in the implementation of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census or in the refusal to extend the deadline for the headcount.