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On Free and Open Exchange

WHEREAS the advance of science depends on the free and open exchange of data and findings among scientists; and

WHEREAS the capacity of members of the public and their representatives in government to understand and effectively address many of the most important policy issues of our time depends on access to the relevant science; and

WHEREAS a substantial fraction of this science is done in governmental agencies or is funded by them; and

WHEREAS censorship, intimidation, or other restriction on the freedom of scientists employed or funded by governmental organizations to communicate their unclassified scientific findings and assessments not only to each other but also to policymakers and to the public is inimical to the advance of science and its appropriate application in the policy domain;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED by the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that such censorship, intimidation, and restriction are inappropriate.

WE APPLAUD in this connection the recent statement of NASA Administrator Mike Griffin that NASA is “committed to open scientific and technical inquiry and dialogue with the public” and that of NOAA Director Conrad Lautenbacher Jr. encouraging NOAA scientists “to speak freely and openly.”

[Approved by the AAAS Council on 19 February 2006.]