Finally, a little positive affirmation from our Government that informed policy-making requires us to place objective science before profit-motive!

 If you don’t believe me, check out the memo Obama just released on Scientific Integrity!

– Jeremy

 

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 9, 2009

March 9, 2009

MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

SUBJECT: Scientific Integrity

Science and the scientific process must inform and guide
decisions of my Administration on a wide range of issues,
including improvement of public health, protection of the
environment, increased efficiency in the use of energy and
other resources, mitigation of the threat of climate change,
and protection of national security.

The public must be able to trust the science and scientific
process informing public policy decisions. Political officials
should not suppress or alter scientific or technological
findings and conclusions. If scientific and technological
information is developed and used by the Federal Government,
it should ordinarily be made available to the public. To
the extent permitted by law, there should be transparency in
the preparation, identification, and use of scientific and
technological information in policymaking. The selection of
scientists and technology professionals for positions in the
executive branch should be based on their scientific and
technological knowledge, credentials, experience, and integrity.

By this memorandum, I assign to the Director of the Office of
Science and Technology Policy (Director) the responsibility for
ensuring the highest level of integrity in all aspects of the
executive branch’s involvement with scientific and technological
processes. The Director shall confer, as appropriate, with the
heads of executive departments and agencies, including the
Office of Management and Budget and offices and agencies

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within the Executive Office of the President (collectively,
the “agencies”), and recommend a plan to achieve that goal
throughout the executive branch.

Specifically, I direct the following:

1. Within 120 days from the date of this memorandum, the
Director shall develop recommendations for Presidential action
designed to guarantee scientific integrity throughout the
executive branch, based on the following principles:

(a) The selection and retention of candidates for
science and technology positions in the executive branch
should be based on the candidate’s knowledge, credentials,
experience, and integrity;

(b) Each agency should have appropriate rules and
procedures to ensure the integrity of the scientific
process within the agency;

(c) When scientific or technological information is
considered in policy decisions, the information should be
subject to well-established scientific processes, including
peer review where appropriate, and each agency should
appropriately and accurately reflect that information in
complying with and applying relevant statutory standards;

(d) Except for information that is properly restricted
from disclosure under procedures established in accordance
with statute, regulation, Executive Order, or Presidential
Memorandum, each agency should make available to the public
the scientific or technological findings or conclusions
considered or relied on in policy decisions;

(e) Each agency should have in place procedures to
identify and address instances in which the scientific
process or the integrity of scientific and technological
information may be compromised; and

(f) Each agency should adopt such additional procedures,
including any appropriate whistleblower protections, as
are necessary to ensure the integrity of scientific and
technological information and processes on which the
agency relies in its decisionmaking or otherwise uses
or prepares.

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2. Each agency shall make available any and all information
deemed by the Director to be necessary to inform the Director
in making recommendations to the President as requested by this
memorandum. Each agency shall coordinate with the Director in
the development of any interim procedures deemed necessary to
ensure the integrity of scientific decisionmaking pending the
Director’s recommendations called for by this memorandum.

3. (a) Executive departments and agencies shall carry out the
provisions of this memorandum to the extent permitted by
law and consistent with their statutory and regulatory
authorities and their enforcement mechanisms.

(b) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to
impair or otherwise affect:

(i) authority granted by law to an executive
department, agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) functions of the Director of the Office
of Management and Budget relating to budgetary,
administrative, or legislative proposals.

(c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not,
create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural,
enforceable at law or in equity, by any party against the
United States, its departments, agencies, or entities,
its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

4. The Director is hereby authorized and directed to publish
this memorandum in the Federal Register.

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