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American Science Pledge

Is a candidate for public office reason-minded and pro-science, or are they more likely to be anti-science and controlled by ideology, prejudice and opinion when making public policy decisions? Find out! Ask them to sign the American Science Pledge!

The American Science Pledge

Why a Pledge

We live in a time when the majority of the unsolved policy challenges facing the United States revolve around science. These challenges have continued to accumulate to the point that many of them are threatening the economic well-being of the nation and the ongoing health and vitality of its citizens and their environment.

We elect our representatives, senators, governors, and president to tackle tough issues.  Many in this generation of elected officials have retreated from that level of tough leadership. They have failed to solve the accumulating science challenges, preferring to punt them into the future or, increasingly, deny they even exist.

With the continued delay this failure of leadership imposes, these problems get worse, and solutions become even more difficult and expensive. With each step away from reason and into denial, the country moves toward a state of tyranny, in which public policy decisions come to be based not on knowledge, but on the most loudly voiced opinions.

We need candidates of both major parties who will lead on these tough science questions, and who will reassert the primacy of knowledge and science as the best basis for informed, effective, and fair public policies in a diverse nation.

In order to reflect candidates’ commitments to basing public policy decisions on knowledge, versus opinion or belief, we need a vehicle. The Contract from America, the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, and the No Climate Tax Pledge all seek to restrict reasoned debate. We need a pledge for reason, equality, transparency, and freedom.  A pledge that expands reasoned debate. We need an American Science Pledge.

The American Science Pledge asks candidates to commit to the kind of civic-minded leadership citizens are owed in a democratic republic. It seeks to separate freedom lovers from authoritarians, data-based decision makers from those governed by “but faith, or opinion,” and independent thinkers from ideologues.

Candidates who care about America are asked to sign this pledge to show their commitment to its five core principles and to agree to debate the top science questions in public forums.


A fillable pdf of The American Science Pledge is available here.

The American Science Pledge

A renewed commitment to civic leadership
based on the principles of
freedom, science, and knowledge in America.

America has accomplished great things by setting freedom, knowledge and science as the bases for sound, effective, and equitable public policy. We are freer now than we have ever been. Our lives are longer, our children are healthier, and we have more options open to us than any previous generation. Our houses of worship are free from persecution. But science, reason, and knowledge have increasingly come under attack in our national dialogue and in the highest offices of our republic, causing a growing risk to our freedom. Policy challenges have been allowed to accumulate unresolved because our elected representatives have increasingly come to substitute rhetoric for facts in policy discussions. Because of this failure, the people are being deprived of the full measure of freedom and wealth we might otherwise claim.

Preserving freedom and solving our accumulating unresolved policy challenges requires elected leaders to make a renewed commitment to the following five core principles.

The Five Core Principles

Seeking to be entrusted with the power of the people of the United States, and to represent their interests in the elected offices of the nation, I do hereby pledge to the citizens of America that:


I will support public policy decisions based on the knowledge produced by science, which may be informed by economic interests and my values but never superseded by personal opinions or political objectives.


I will protect and defend the precious basis of America’s freedom, which is the scientific consensus of knowledge, against political forces that seek to deny it, suppress it, or substitute for it rhetoric or opinion.


I will oppose all efforts to reduce freedom by holding back or altering scientific reports because they conflict with personal opinions, economic interests, or political objectives.


I will oppose acts that reduce freedom by attacking, intimidating, interrogating, prosecuting, disparaging, or silencing scientists and academics whose research or scientific reports conflict with personal opinions, economic interests, or political objectives.


To demonstrate my commitment to these principles and to moving America forward in solving these challenges, I will participate in one or more substantive, nonpartisan, public, televised, independently moderated debates on the top science challenges facing America.

I hereby make this pledge on this _____ day of ______________, 20___.


Candidate’s Signature


Candidate’s Name


Office Sought or Held


Street Address

City, State, Zip Code

_____________________ ________________________________
Telephone                         E-mail

Please return this signed pledge to
American Science Pledge
[email protected]

A fillable pdf of The American Science Pledge is available here.