In case you missed it, the White House Office of Science & Technology (OSTP) on Friday released a memorandum on scientific integrity.
As noted by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), "If fully implemented by federal agencies and departments, the directive could help protect government scientists from pressure by special interests, and would ensure that the government can make fully informed decisions about public health and the environment."
OMB Watch called the directive a "step forward," but cautioned that "the devil will be in the details, some of which are lacking in this memo."
Seemingly taking a page from the Open Government Directive, the White House memo requiring executive branch agencies to take several steps to increase transparency such as creating Open Government Plans, the scientific integrity memo instructs federal agencies to develop detailed scientific integrity plans.
UCS rightly points out that this requirement, along with others in the memo, "leaves an enormous amount of discretion to the federal agencies and departments who are now charged with furnishing the details."
UCS has submitted a list of minimum requirements recommended for each agency's action plan.
Read the new White House directive here.
-- Bryan Rahija