UCS Scientific Integrity Resources for Federal Agencies

UCS has put together a suite of resources for agencies to draw upon as they work to meet the White House scientific integrity guidelines:

  • A survey of best practices already employed in specific agencies and departments [PDF]. From the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, several agencies and departments have great policies in a number of scientific integrity-related areas that can be used as models.
  • Analysis of what the Department of Interior (DOI) got right, and what could be improved [PDF]. The DOI was first out of the gate with their scientific integrity policy, which set a fairly high bar. We went through it line by line to highlight its strengths and recommend ways to take it to the next level.
  • Minimum requirements [PDF] UCS has suggested need to be be included in an effective scientific integrity plan.
  • A blueprint for scientific integrity in government. Federal Science and the Public Good was developed in partnership with current and former agency leaders and scientists, science policy experts. While it focuses on the presidential transition, it is great material for those looking to take a deep dive into the problems and solutions.

Other UCS resources highlight what government scientists have told us will help them do their best work—as well as more information about problems that have been seen in the past:

  • Surveys of federal government scientists. To help document the level and impact of political interference in science at federal agencies, UCS has conducted a series of surveys of federal scientists at USDA, FDA, EPA, USFWS, NOAA, and nine agencies that do climate research. Included in the surveys results are many pages of essays from scientists responding to the question, “How could scientific integrity be improved at your agency?” 
  • The A to Z Guide to Political Interference in Science. Fashioned after a periodic table, this web page has scores of examples of political interference in science complete with primary source documentation and sorted by agency and department.
  • Our central repository for scientific integrity solutions. The documents in this packet, some agency-specific recommendations, and more are available on the page we developed for leaders in the Obama Administration and Congress. 

UCS is happy to meet with any agency or department official who would like to discuss our recommendations in more detail as they apply to a specific agency or department. We plan to evaluate the actions of each agency and department and champion those who are able to demonstrate the best progress.

To meet with UCS to discuss these materials in more detail, contact Alex Renaud via email or at 202.331.5456.

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