NOAA seeks public comments on scientific integrity policy

June 16, 2011

NOAA’s draft scientific integrity policy is available for public review and comment until Aug. 15, 2011. The policy incorporates the principles of scientific integrity contained in guidance from the White House, and addresses how NOAA ensures quality science in its practices and policies and promotes a culture of transparency, integrity and ethical behavior.

“Scientific integrity is at the core of producing and using good science,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “By being open and honest about our science, we build understanding and trust. This policy reflects the commitment I made when I first came to NOAA to strengthen science, ensure it is not misused or undermined, and base decisions on good science. This scientific integrity policy is about fostering an environment where science is encouraged, nurtured, respected, rewarded and protected.”

At the beginning of Lubchenco’s tenure, NOAA embarked on a thoughtful and transparent effort to draft a policy to uphold the principles of scientific integrity. The policy contains the principles articulated in President Obama’s March 9, 2009, memorandum and further guidance provided in White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director John Holdren’s Dec. 17, 2010, memorandum on scientific integrity. The policy responds to Holdren’s directive to agencies to submit their draft policies to OSTP by early August.

NOAA’s draft policy:

In April, NOAA submitted a progress report to OSTP describing its progress on developing a scientific integrity policy and describing relevant policies currently in effect. In February 2011, an early draft scientific integrity policy was shared with all of the agency’s employees for their review and comment. The draft announced today takes those comments into consideration.

NOAA also seeks comments on the accompanying handbook that outlines procedures to respond to allegations of misconduct. Both draft documents can be found electronically at www.noaa.gov/scientificintegrity.

Those without computer access can call 301-734-1186 to request a copy of the draft policy and handbook and instructions for returning written comments via mail by Aug. 15.

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