Space & Innovation

House Cmte Retweets Breitbart, as Researchers Call on Trump to Respect Science

Concerns grow that in a new presidential administration, politics will hinder scientific research.

On Thursday, the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology raised eyebrows with a retweet of an article from Breitbart News, which among other assertions, claimed - incorrectly - that global temperatures had plummeted in a record drop since the middle of the year.

In reality, as NASA scientist Roy W. Spenser's blog documents, temperatures actually rose between October and November. (The New York Times and the Washington Post both published articles debunking the Breitbart article's assertions.)

On Wednesday, 2,300 scientists - including 22 Nobel Laureates - sent an open letter imploring President-elect Donald Trump and the incoming 115th Congress not to hinder scientific research and enforcement of environmental laws for political reasons, the manifesto continues to create a stir in the research community.

"We're continuing to see people sign on," said Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, the activist group which organized the letter. Already, hundreds of additional scientists have contacted UCS to add their names as well, though not all of their names are listed on the organization's website because it takes time to verify that would-be signatories have legitimate credentials as researchers.

Trump has yet to respond to the scientists' letter on Twitter, his favored medium. But Democrats - still smarting from a loss in the presidential election and failure to regain control of the Senate - were quick to pick up on it.

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