OSTP Advances National Scientific Integrity

On January 12th, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a framework for scientific integrity policies and practices across the government. FABBS previously submitted comments to the OSTP request for information (RFI) and contributed to a memo addressed to the Biden science transition team offering key recommendations reflected in the framework:   

  • Help all scientific agencies within the executive branch adopt policies and practices that safeguard and strengthen scientific integrity;
  • Create a subcommittee within the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Committee on Science that includes a working group and work plan for improving scientific integrity policies and practices across agencies; and
  • Issue a memorandum recommending that every agency have an official in charge of scientific integrity.

The OSTP framework establishes the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Subcommittee on Scientific Integrity (SOSI) which will oversee the national progression of scientific integrity including

  • Improving training in scientific integrity and holding officials accountable who violate the established policies;
  • Building trust between scientists and communications officials ;
  • Improving transparency in policies through annual reports and minimizing conflicts of interest that bias research ;
  • Coordinating between and considering input from both federal and non-federal agencies that involve the sciences; and
  • Addressing emerging concerns with technology such as artificial intelligence. 

The framework also requires that all federal agencies submit new integrity policies to the OSTP for review and to designate a scientific integrity official (SIO) to uphold these standards. Agencies who are directly involved in research must also appoint a chief science officer (CSO). Within the next 180 days, agencies will provide an opportunity for open review of their new policies through public comments or listening sessions.  

This framework marks significant progress to restore scientific integrity to federal agencies. FABBS will continue to monitor the NSTC Subcommittee on Scientific Integrity and contribute to these efforts.  

NSTC, OSTP, scientific integrity, SOSI, White House