The Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health collaborates with other organizations to advance scientific integrity in the U.S. government.
From family planning innovations to policies counteracting discrimination, improvements in women’s health have come because researchers investigated problems and policymakers developed their programs and policies based on these scientific findings. The U.S. government is an essential player in this process, from its work as a data collector and research funder to its role as a policymaker and enforcer of regulations. However, presidential administrations, including political appointees and federal agency leadership, may suppress, distort, and ignore evidence—to the detriment of public health, and often with particularly serious impacts on women and communities already marginalized.
Those who already face the most harmful exposures and barriers to care also suffer the most when federal officials ignore their scientific experts’ advice in areas such as availability of emergency contraception or neurotoxic effects of a pesticide, misrepresent evidence on the relationship between access to contraception and unintended pregnancies, or abruptly cancel evidence-based programming and research on preventing unwanted teen pregnancies. Scientific integrity requires that policy decisions be informed by evidence and that the public has reliable access to independent scientific information and analysis produced, funded, or acquired by the federal government without political interference.
Follow the links below for more about scientific integrity problems and solutions: