The editors of six prominent scientific journals are sounding the alarm on the Trump administration’s proposed rule that would require scientists to make all data related to EPA rulemaking public.
In a rare joint statement released Tuesday, the editors of the peer-reviewed Science, Nature, Cell, PNAS, PLOS and The Lancet journals say that implementing the rule could be a “catastrophe,” especially when it might mandate the revision of long-standing public health research that forms the bedrock of many crucial EPA rules.
Many clean air, water, and other public health rules are justified by studies using personal health data gathered under confidentiality agreements, so the datasets by law can never be made public.
“I worry that [this rule] would give the EPA a way to say, ‘well, we don’t need this regulation anymore because it’s being supported by science for which not all of the data are completely open,'” Holden Thorp, the editor-in-chief of Science journals, told Earther. “And it’s a way to open the door to weakening environmental regulation.”