On February 15, Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director John Holdren instructed all covered Federal entities to release their final or latest draft scientific integrity policies for public comment by March 30, 2012. OSTP has completed its review of the draft policies submitted last December and, with a few minor recommendations, found them to fulfill or exceed the minimum OSTP requirements. Many agencies have already posted final or draft versions for public comment or are circulating them internally for administrative signoff.
The issuance of new scientific integrity policies was prompted by a 2009 presidential memorandum articulating six principles of scientific integrity. OSTP published a subsequent memorandum in 2010 to provide further guidance to executive departments and agencies to implement the Administration's policies. In keeping with this guidance, the new agency policies require that federally supported science and scientific information be undiluted and untainted by political influence; agencies practice openness with the public and the media; Federal Advisory Committees operate transparently and free of problematic conflicts of interest; and Federal scientists and engineers be afforded the same opportunities to advance their professional careers as their private counterparts.
Some in the scientific community have been critical of the slow pace with which agency policies have been developed and made available for public comment.
View John Holdren's blog posting at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/02/15/scientific-integrity-policies-approach-public-release
Read the OSTP policy guidance memorandum here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/scientific-integrity-memo-12172010.pdf
*KS - This Article is a news report from the Winter 2012 Professional Ethics Report produced by the AAAS Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program.