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Scientists fight back against Trump

Stefan Bienkowski
January 27, 2017

Following appointments and policies that go against scientific learning, the US science community has taken aim at their new president with plans to run for public office and to oppose his social media blackouts.

Washington Weißes Haus Greenpeace Aktion Resist Banner
Image: picture-alliance/Zuma/K. Cedeno

American scientists have decided to take the fight to Donald Trump and his combative approach to facts and the mechanics of scientific research.

A new political action committee (PAC) has been created in response to the US president who was inaugurated on January 20. The PAC's intention: getting scientists elected to public office.

They're called 314 Action, with a notable reference to the first three numbers of the mathematical constant pi, and have already had over 400 people sign up on their online recruitment form.

The PAC was set up by Shaughnessy Naughton, a chemist and former breast cancer researcher who  unsuccessfully ran for congress in Pennsylvania in 2010 and 2016. She believes scientists are gravely underrepresented in the crucial process of running the country.

"314 Action champions electing more leaders to the U.S. Senate, House, State Executive and Legislative offices who come from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) backgrounds,” state the group on their mission page.  "We need new leaders who understand that climate change is real and are motivated to find a solution.” 

Screenshot Twitter Rogue NASA
Image: Twitter

Backlash to Trump's administration

Not only has Trump called climate change a myth "invented by the Chinese," he has also sought out cabinet and government roles for major critics of the established science.

Climate-change denier Scott Pruitt is set to head the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA), while Thomas Pyle, a former Koch Industries lobbyist, now runs the transition team at the Energy Department.

As a result, an international network of researchers and scientists formed the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative to catalogue all public environmental data that may have been lost under the new administration.


Major government agencies have taken to social media to not only display their grievances but also set up rogue accounts to continue their work outside the jurisdiction of the US government.

The National Park Service first broke off to from its original twitter account when Trump forced a media black out. It now tweets under @AltNatParkSer as "the unofficial resistance team of US National Park Services.”

Similarly, employees at the EPA then formed their own Twitter account under @ActualEPAFacts to signify their intent to continue publishing data despite the best efforts of the new president to prevent them from doing so. NASA also founded their own break-away account in the form of @RogueNASA, although that account states that it isn't run by government employees.

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