It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Administration RFC

From the Office of Science and Technology Policy:
Presidential Memo on Scientific Integrity: Request for Comment

On March 9, 2009, the President issued a memorandum for the heads of executive departments and agencies on the subject of scientific integrity, stating that “science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of my Administration on a wide range of issues.”

The memorandum requires the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to craft recommendations for Presidential action to ensure scientific integrity in the executive branch. We hereby seek public input to inform the drafting of those recommendations.

Comments from the public will help the OSTP determine what should be included in these recommendations. Over the next six posts on this blog, we will seek your comments, as they may pertain to each of the six different principles outlined in the memorandum. To provide some seeds for thought, we have asked one or two framing questions after each principle. Feel free to respond in other ways to the principle, or even to other comments. You may want to consult the Fact Sheet for the Memorandum before commenting.

This comment period will end on May 13th. Thank you in advance for your input.
Here's more on the memorandum:
Today, more than ever before, science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation. It’s time we once again put science at the top of our agenda and worked to restore America’s place as the world leader in science and technology." - President Barack Obama
  • * Today, President Obama is signing a Presidential Memorandum on scientific integrity. This memorandum helps to implement one of the President’s key campaign commitments on science policy, which was to "restore scientific integrity in government decision making."
  • * Science and technology are essential to achieving a broad range of national goals: driving economic growth and job creation; allowing Americans to live longer, healthier lives; developing clean sources of energy that reduce our dependence on foreign oil; protecting our environment for future generations of Americans; strengthening national and homeland security; and more.
  • * Realizing the potential of science and technology to help achieve all of these goals requires that the Administration’s decisions about public policy be guided by the most accurate and objective scientific advice available. The public must be able to trust that advice, as well, and to be confident that public officials will not conceal or distort the scientific findings that are relevant to policy choices.
  • * Accordingly, the President is assigning to the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) the responsibility of ensuring the highest level of integrity in all aspects of the executive branch’s involvement with scientific and technological issues.
  • * Within 120 days, the Director of OSTP must develop a strategy for ensuring that:
  1. - The selection of scientists and technology professionals for science and technology positions in the executive branch is based on those individuals’ scientific and technological knowledge, credentials, and experience;
  2. - Agencies make available to the public the scientific or technological findings or conclusions considered or relied upon in policy decisions;
  3. - Agencies use scientific and technological information that has been subject to well-established scientific processes such as peer review; and
  4. - Agencies have appropriate rules and procedures to ensure the integrity of the scientific process within the agency, including whistleblower protection.
H/T @timoreilly

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