Scientists are becoming increasingly scared of the Trump Administration for one very interesting reason.
The election of Donald Trump has caused concerned for a lot of different groups, but one surprising group that is particularly worried about his rise to power are scientists who are worried about losing data. And it’s gotten so bad that scientists have founded Data Refuge to protect that data. But why is Trump considered a threat to something as innocuous as data?
Data Refuge was founded by a group of hackers, scientists, and students to collect federal data about climate change to preserve the information and make it accessible to the public. It comes after the Trump Administration banned agencies from releasing studies and research to the public, despite the protests of the scientists behind them.
Data Refuge has reporteldy hosted 17 events where volunteers get together and determine how to publish data. Scientists are increasingly concerned that the Trump administration is removing data from websites. The administration once edited an educational website for kids to downplay the harmful effects of coal, for example.
“DataRefuge acknowledges–and in fact draws attention to–the fact that there are no guarantees of perfectly safe information,” their website states. “But there are ways that we can create safe and trustworthy copies. DataRefuge is thus also a project to develop the best methods, practices, and protocols to do so. DataRefuge depends on local communities. We work in partnership with Environmental Data Governance Initiative (EDGI), Climate Mirror, ProjectARCC, and with local collaborators at #ProtectClimateData and other DataRescue events.”