Agencies Report Progress on Scientific Integrity – in Private
by Gavin Baker
Apr 22, 2011
Thirty agencies have reported on their progress to strengthen scientific integrity, according to a blog post yesterday by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). This week was the deadline to submit those reports, per OSTP director John Holdren's December 2010 memo.
In addition, six agencies have submitted draft or final policies to OSTP. The Holdren memo did not set a deadline for agencies to revise their policies to protect scientific integrity.
That's progress, but at a snail's pace. President Obama issued his memorandum more than two years ago, in March 2009. Worse, OSTP hasn't made the reports or policies public.
In a Greenwire report today, OSTP spokesman Rick Weiss won't even name the agencies that submitted policies. But, he says, "We will be asking for further progress with deadlines in the near future."
That's a move in the right direction, even if OSTP is being unnecessarily secretive about the process. Agencies should move expeditiously to complete their plans to strengthen scientific integrity and publish them for public comment, with an eye toward beginning implementation this year.
After all, the public deserves to know that decisions about protecting public health and the environment are based on sound, uncensored science – and they shouldn't have to wait.back to Blog