So, to Mr. Trump, I would say this:
If this is all just a series of missteps, caused by over-zealous mid-level managers during a confusing presidential transition, so be it. Say so. Fix it. Get out on the public stage and affirm your commitment to facts, to truth, and to the independent pursuit of science without political interference. The vast majority of your fellow Americans would applaud you for this. It would be brave. It would be wise. And it would show some class.
But if this is actually part of your governing philosophy, I would give you a warning on behalf of my fellow scientists: Do not mess with us. Do not try to bury the truth. Do not interfere with the free and open pursuit of science. You do so at your peril.
Americans don’t look kindly on bullies, people who try to suppress the truth, or people who try to intimidate scientists and the press. In the long run, this always backfires. The dustbin of history is full of people who have tried, and failed. You will too.
The next time you visit the CIA headquarters, I hope you will take a moment to notice their unofficial motto, etched in the walls of the lobby. It says, “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”(John VIII-XXXII.)
It does. And scientists like me, and Americans of all backgrounds, will always fight for it.