By: The Office of Science and Technology Policy Scientific Integrity Policy Team
Ryan Donohue, AAAS Fellow and Senior Policy Advisor
Gretchen Goldman, Assistant Director for Environmental Science, Engineering, Policy, and Justice
Christopher Marcum, Assistant Director for Open Science and Data Policy
Our nation and the world depend on reliable, robust, and up-to-date science and technology – much of which is supported by the Federal science ecosystem. Across the Federal government, science and scientists provide foundational information, data, and evidence to inform the policy decisions that support safety, health, equity, and security in the United States. Ensuring the integrity of the conduct, management, communication, and use of Federal science in every part of our government is critical to these efforts.
The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is leading a cross-agency effort to develop a Federal Scientific Integrity Framework that meets President Biden’s vision for “regular assessment and iterative improvement” of scientific integrity policies and practices into the future. As scientists and co-chairs of a cross-agency group developing the Federal Scientific Integrity Framework, we enthusiastically work to help carry out the President’s charge to strengthen scientific integrity across the nation and we are asking you to contribute to this goal, too.
In January 2022, our Scientific Integrity Task Force released Protecting the Integrity of Government Science, the first government-wide assessment of agency scientific integrity policies and practices. Now we are seeking public input to take the next crucial step: developing a framework for regular assessment and iterative improvement of agency scientific integrity policies and practices. Both the report and Framework will guide Federal agencies in improving their scientific integrity policies, practices, and culture in response to the 2021 Presidential Memorandum on Restoring Trust in Federal Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking.
The feedback from the initial scientific integrity Request for Information provided vital perspectives and information from the public and helped shape the January report. OSTP is committed to continuing this meaningful conversation with the public and maintaining community engagement as we move forward.
Today, OSTP is publishing a Request for Information (RFI) on how we can ensure that a Framework for Scientific Integrity is as robust, inclusive, and effective as possible. Any member of public is invited to submit their comments starting today until April 4, 2022.
Specifically, this RFI seeks information on several key elements of the Scientific Integrity Framework:
- How scientific integrity policies can address important and emergent issues of our time, including diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility; new technologies; emerging modes of science; and coordination with related policy domains;
- How to evaluate scientific integrity policy content, implementation, outcomes and impacts in the Executive Branch;
- How to ensure that scientific integrity evaluation findings lead to effective iterative improvement of Federal scientific integrity policy and practices; and
- How to ensure the long-term viability and implementation of Federal scientific integrity policies, practices, and culture through future Administrations.
The full details on requested information and submission processes can be found here: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-04466.
The feedback gained from this RFI will provide vital perspectives from the American people and inform a durable Framework that advances the President’s pledge to restoring trust in Federal science and evidence-based policymaking. We hope you will participate to help us ensure scientific integrity is built into government practice, research, and policymaking—now and for years to come.