Most Agencies Miss Another Scientific Integrity Deadline; NOAA and NSF Inch Forward

(For the moment, I am holding back on posting about how the Department of the Interior continues to make a mockery of having a scientific integrity policy.)

The ninety day deadline in the next phase of the Obama Administration’s effort to establish a scientific integrity policy passed this past week.  While the vague announcement of that deadline didn’t specify making agency policies public, there hasn’t even been an announcement from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) concerning progress in this matter.  Two agencies have recently demonstrated public progress toward a final plan.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration head Jane Lubchenco recently remarked about her agency’s progress (the blog post title is misleading) on a scientific integrity policy, which is now available for official public comment.  Deadline for comments is August 20.  I addressed an earlier draft of this policy back in March, when Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility released it.  There is additional material, mostly in the definitions section (now in the front).  The draft procedural handbook mentioned in the March draft is also available for comment, and you can read the agency’s April progress report on its efforts so far..

On Thursday the National Science Foundation published its draft scientific integrity policy in the Federal Register (H/T The Scientist).  Comments on that policy are due by September 6.  Because there are already NSF policies on conflicts of interest and research misconduct, their draft scientific integrity policy is mostly a media affairs staff policy.  It does affirm the right of its employees to participate in various professional development activities, with the approval of a supervisor.  There will also be a scientific integrity website online by the end of this year.

Given the horrific track record of this Administration in making deadlines concerning scientific integrity, I’m not sanguine about having a lot of other progress reported this month.  I’d love to be wrong.