Federal Relations

May 1, 2009

Obama Administrations Seeks Input on Scientific Openness

Provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The President is championing a new climate of openness, collaboration, transparency and accountability in government, as well as respect for maintaining the integrity of science in governmental agencies. Your help is requested in developing guidelines to enable these goals to be achieved. For science to guide our government’s policy decisions, it is imperative that scientific data be credible and methodologies be transparent. The same goes for the selection of scientists and science policy experts for positions within the executive branch.

President Obama has recently asked the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to develop a comprehensive strategy to guarantee the highest level of scientific integrity in the executive branch. The OSTP is seeking your recommendations on a number of key principles:

  • What are the best ways to measure the knowledge, credentials, experience and integrity of a candidate for a science and technology position in the executive branch?
  • How can the integrity of scientific processes by assured? What are some good examples to learn from?
  • What are the most effective processes and organizational structures for assuring that scientific and technological information is reliable? How can the processes and structures used in each case best be disclosed as part of the public record?
  • What are the best ways to maximize the legitimate public release of scientific and technological information relied upon by agencies?
  • How can agencies best ensure that they will know when scientific or technological integrity has been compromised?
  • What are the best ways to make sure that the science and technology an agency relies on is reliable?

Many of you have first-hand experience grappling with these issues on a daily basis. I encourage each of you to seize this special opportunity to offer your input. The deadline for public comment is May 13. You can learn more about how to submit your comments to the OSTP by visiting www.ostp.gov and clicking on the “Scientific Integrity” link.