CSLDF is fighting attacks on science. Here’s how you can help.
This is a guest post from Lauren Kurtz of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF).
We at the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) wanted to share what we’ve been up to in 2018 and ask for your help raising $100K to protect science.
As you know, today’s political environment is extremely dangerous for science and scientists, which means we’re busier than ever. To help us meet the demand for our services and prepare for the challenges that lie ahead, Charles Zeller, one of our founding board members, is matching all donations, dollar for dollar, up to $50,000.
We’ve raised $35K so far and need your help to meet our summer fundraising goal. Please consider making a gift to CSLDF today. Your contribution will not only be doubled, we’ll put it to immediate use protecting science.
We’re extremely grateful to the SkS community for contributing to our work since our founding over six years ago. With your continued support we’ve been able to provide vital free legal services to scientists, educate researchers about their legal rights and responsibilities, and call out attacks on science.
With that, here’s a quick roundup of what we’ve accomplished so far this year:
- We’ve provided free legal advice and direct representation to 22 researchers on issues ranging from open records to scientific integrity complaints. We expect to exceed the number of scientists we helped in 2017.
- We’re documenting attempts by the Trump administration to restrict science. As of today, the Silencing Science Tracker, our project with the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, contains 145 entries — and counting. Read about it in The New Republic, Scientific American, and Think Progress.
- We hosted a session at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting, where attorneys from CSLDF and the ACLU discussed steps scientists can take to avoid ending up in political crosshairs.
- We hired a new attorney, Augusta Wilson, bringing our total staff to five. Augusta’s work is focused on defending scientists from threats and educating researchers on how to protect themselves.
- Our attorneys authored op-eds in The Hill on how the Trump administration is undermining science and the ways Big Tobacco’s smoke and mirrors tactics are being revived by the EPA’s proposed “secret science” policy.
- Among our recent publications is a first-of-its-kind guide to the research protections available under state open records laws. It’s designed to help scientists understand how the laws may affect their work and to help lawmakers to realize the implications of not protecting scientific research.
- We expanded our Campus Reps initiative and held a third program training in April. As a result, there are now 23 law professors across the United States providing education and assistance to scientists at their institutions.
- We continue to publish Scientists’ Stories, which focus on how attacks and anti-science actions impact researchers, both personally and professionally.
And there will be no shortage of action in the coming months. Among our many activities: In July we held an event in New York City with our local 500 Women Scientists pod; in September, we’re co-hosting a panel on attacks on climate science at Columbia Law School as part of Climate Week NYC; in November we’re co-hosting a webinar with the American Geophysical Union (AGU) on anti-lobbying restrictions for scientists; and in December you’ll find us at the AGU Fall meeting with an expanded presence.
If you can’t support us financially, please help by spreading the word to others who might not be familiar with CSLDF. For more information, visit csldf.org or SkS’ own “Getting involved with Climate Science via crowdfunding and crowdsourcing” page.
Many thanks to SkS readers for your support and interest in our work — and the public service you provide at SkS!
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