The Free Flow of Scientific Information Is Critical for Democracy

64d1689c-f1a6-40f6-8bb8601cca863649“Consider, for a moment, the word ‘media.’ The media mediate between sources of information and the public. They make decisions about what is most important and relevant to readers (since no one has time to keep up with all the science being done at federal agencies, or even one agency). They translate from the technical to the accessible. They place science in larger social and political contexts, and they hold institutions accountable when they try to manipulate or suppress scientific results for political reasons. No other institution in our society is capable of fulfilling all these roles. For this reason, free and open access to government scientists must remain open, even—indeed, especially—when scientists’ results challenge the government’s political outlook.”

SOURCE: Popkin, Gabriel. “The Free Flow of Scientific Information Is Critical for Democracy.” Scientific American.