It has been four years since we were immersed in lockdown mandates, masks, vaccines, round-the-clock news updates, significant loss of life, and overall fear. The Covid-19 pandemic permanently changed society, most especially how society views (and trusts) science. 

The Center for Truth in Science was formed during those early days – in fact, Covid-19 struck during our first month in operation. It was clear then – and remains clear as we celebrate our fourth anniversary – that our mission is vital. While we don’t work on the science related to infectious disease, we do seek to return law and public policy to the basics of science and evidence-based decision making by providing decision-makers a full picture of the best available scientific evidence on vital issues impacting everyday life and the tools needed to interpret and use that information responsibly. As the two leaders with the pleasure of steering the Center’s ship over the last four years, we are excited to reflect on the growth and successes we have achieved in such a short time – and the goals for our bright future ahead.  

From Joseph Annotti, President and CEO 2020-22: 

I have had a remarkable 45-year career. I’ve worked in public affairs for a small liberal arts university and a large agricultural firm. I’ve spent decades doing public affairs and public policy work for a variety of insurance trade groups, and now I head up a professional association of financial executives in the media and entertainment industry.

But the two most interesting years of my working life were spent as the CEO of the then newly formed Center for Truth in Science dedicated to the principle of seeking the most accurate and objective scientific truths on issues at the intersection of science, public policy arenas, and courtrooms across the country. The nobility of that mission attracted me to the organization, and the chance to mix it up on important issues that affect individuals and organizations on so many different levels was exciting. 

I’m neither a scientist nor a legal scholar. I like to think of myself as a relatively intelligent individual with a passion for accuracy, fairness, and equality and a low tolerance for gobbledygook – from corporate spin doctors, headline-seeking scientists, or self-serving trial lawyers.

The Center funds independent and objective studies of existing scientific research – known as meta-analysis – on some of the most complex, confusing, and controversial issues being debated in legal and public policy forums across the county. Our objective is crystal clear: thoroughly assess the quality of the existing research to verify its accuracy, identify potential flaws that may exist, and expose outright errors that may make the findings – and the legal and regulatory decisions on which they are based – invalid.

In its first four years of existence, two under my stewardship and two under my very capable successor, Jacob Traverse, the Center has done remarkable work and earned the recognition of the scientific, public policy, and legal communities along the way. I am happy to have played a small part in getting the organization off the ground. Easily my most important accomplishment was assembling an incredibly qualified group of legal and scientific scholars to serve on the Center’s Board. Being asked to join them as a Board member upon my departure from the Center was an honor.

The Center for Truth in Science has a bright future. There is certainly no shortage of controversial issues to study.  The intersection of the science, legal, and public policy community is a crowded (and dangerous) one. It is my hope that the Center can provide a roadmap to help the members of each community navigate in a way that is fair to each of them.

From Jacob Traverse, President and CEO 2022-Present: 

Building upon the foundation of its first two years, in its second two the Center has funded independent research resulting in six publications in highly regarded peer-reviewed journals exploring what we know about the health impacts of glyphosate, PFAS, ethylene oxide, talc, and formaldehyde. 

The findings from these comprehensive and transparent studies are now in the hands of decision-makers grappling with these issues at the intersection of science, justice, and the economy.

We have learned from every step along the way and applied that knowledge to subsequent projects. Our research methods have become more sophisticated, the requirement for transparency and open access has increased, and the complexity of the issues we face has only grown. 

Thankfully, the toolbox available to us is also improving through advances in technology and scientific knowledge, and we are equipped to ask stronger questions to get better answers.

Sharing our findings with those who can carry them forward is a critical element of our mission. The Center has increasingly become a source of sound science and a voice of reason for a diverse audience of researchers, legal and policy experts, regulatory professionals, economists, and many others across industry and academia who work to keep Americans safe every day. 

We are engaging with increasing numbers of people who are interested in learning the truth about what we do, or don’t, know when we face questions about causation, harm, or safety.

It is an exciting time at the Center for Truth in Science and the coming year promises to deliver even more as we continue to drive new research, share our findings with decision-makers, and attract attention for our work.

Thank you for helping us get this far, and we look forward to what the future brings.