New York, NY, February 6, 2007—Following a House Oversight Committee hearing that probed censorship of government climate scientists, PEN and eight other leading First Amendment and academic organizations have called for continuing congressional oversight to ensure the integrity of scientific research and protect the First Amendment rights of government scientists.

The statement warns of the consequences of suppression or distortion of information that is essential to sound public policy and government accountability and applauds “the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) on their efforts to inform the public about this critical issue.” The statement notes that the testimony provided at the hearing strongly supports the need for continued Congressional vigilance “to ensure that federal policy is informed by the highest quality of scientific information and that federal officials respect not just the letter but the spirit of the Constitution by encouraging free and open debate on matters of public concern.”

The statement was organized by National Coalition Against Censorship, which has been examining the constitutional ramifications of censorship of science to serve political objectives.

Larry Siems, (212) 334-1660, ext. 105, lsiems@pen.org