December 17, 2010

Whitehouse Statement on Obama Administration Scientific Integrity Policy

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) released the following statement today regarding the Obama Administration’s new guidance for improving scientific integrity in federal government decision-making:

“I applaud the Obama Administration for their ongoing commitment to scientific integrity.  The recommendations released today will help ensure that when federal agencies are making decisions about public health, worker safety, energy, and the environment, those decisions are based on facts and science, not politics.  This is a vital step toward restoring public confidence in the scientific decisions made by government.”

Today’s guidance was issued in a memo signed by Dr. John P. Holdren, Director of the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, and addressed to the heads of all federal agencies and departments.  In an accompanying statement, Dr. Holdren noted that agency standards for ensuring scientific integrity are expected to include “a clear prohibition on political interference in scientific processes and expanded assurances of transparency.”

In October, Whitehouse joined Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Tom Udall (D-NM), on a letter to the President requesting an update on the development of these recommendations and supporting the Administration’s strong stance on restoring science-based decision making at the federal level.  In June 2009, Whitehouse co-chaired a hearing of the Environment and Public Works Committee examining scientific integrity and transparency reforms at the Environmental Protection Agency.


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