The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this week released a new scientific integrity policy.
“This policy strengthens the high standards we work to achieve every day to advance the science that underpins the services and stewardship NOAA provides to the American public,” said NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco. “The scientific integrity policy expresses our commitment to produce and use science without distortion, to be transparent and accountable in production and use of our science, and to strengthen our commitment to excellence.”
Lubchenco made the announcement today at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.
“Scientific integrity is at the core of producing and using good science,” Lubchenco said. “Now, for the first time, we have a comprehensive policy in place that firmly supports our scientists and their scientific activities, protects the use of scientific findings, and thus advances the public trust in NOAA science.”
Developed from a deliberative and inclusive process that included employee and public input, this new policy is intended to protect scientific findings from being suppressed, distorted or altered and to strengthen science and encourage a culture of transparency.
The scientific integrity policy http://nrc.noaa.gov/scientificintegrity.html
applies to all NOAA employees — career, political, and contractor — who conduct, supervise, assess or interpret scientific information on behalf of NOAA.
Scientists, their managers, and policy makers are all governed by the policy.
To support a culture of openness, one of the policy’s key provisions affirms unequivocally that NOAA scientists may speak freely with the media and public about scientific and technical matters based on their official work without approval from the public affairs office or their supervisors.
The policy also protects those who report scientific and research misconduct. It also protects the anonymity of those who are accused but exonerated of research and scientific misconduct.