The Environmental Protection Agency announced yesterday that it has appointed Francesca Grifo as the agency’s Scientific Integrity Official (SIO) (H/T ScienceInsider). This position is required by the agency’s scientific integrity policy, last updated in early 2012. There have been two interim SIOs since the policy was last updated, and the office is still engaged in implementing employee training and other programs to help make sure EPA staff are aware of the policy and its requirements. This Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Report from August 2013 indicates that the office has been focused on getting things operational, but perhaps not as quickly as the OIG (or even the Administrator) might want.
Grifo comes to the job from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), and scientific integrity policies were a notable part of her work there. She begins her EPA work at the same time as the Scientific Integrity Office has released its first employee training module on the scientific integrity policy.
It will be interesting to see what happens at Grifo’s former employer once the agency makes a decision that UCS feels didn’t follow what it considers to be sound science. Trust me, it will happen.
That said, I think it worth reposting part of the UCS blog post connected with Grifo’s departure. Continue reading