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Administration Officials Commit to Scientific Integrity

During their Senate confirmation hearings, several nominees for high-ranking posts in the Obama administration stated their commitment to scientific integrity, transparency, and the rule of law. Here are a few examples of their comments on the record:

"First we will review what decisions have been made and see if there is action necessary to correct decisions to make sure they are in compliance with the law and in compliance with the science. There is no substitute for good science to guide the kinds of issues that you talked about with Fish and Wildlife Service so we will make sure that's what guides us as we move forward with decision making. I will assure you the people we bring in to oversee those efforts who will make the calls based off the balls and strikes of the science not on the balls and strikes of the politics."

—Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, January 15, 2009


"I pledge to bring transparency, fairness, integrity and accountability to the job, using a consultative and collaborative approach."

—NOAA Administrator, Dr. Jane Lubchenco, February 12, 2009


"I will...[work] with the federal agencies that generate and process scientific and technological information to be sure the best technical judgments of the scientists and engineers working there are never censored or distorted for ideological reasons."

—Presidental Science Advisor John Holdren, February 12, 2009


"We need to use science as the guide and we need to have an open and transparent policies working with the stakeholder groups so they understand the objectives."

—Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, March 17, 2009


"We sent the message throughout the department that the rule of law will apply and that policy decisions will be based on science and on the appropriate considerations and not on politics or special interests."

—Tom Strickland, Interior Department assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks, March 26, 2009


"If confirmed as Secretary, I will work to restore trust in the FDA as the leading science-based regulatory agency in the world. I will do so by working to strengthen the FDA's ability to meet the pressing scientific and global challenges of the 21st century, and by sending a clear message from the top that the President and I expect key decisions at the FDA to be made on the basis of science – period." 

—Kathleen Sebelius, nominee to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services, March 31, 2009


"I am sitting here today not because I am a scientist, but because, like President Obama and Administrator Jackson, I intend to leave the science to the scientists."

—Regina McCarthy, nominee to head EPA Office of Air and Radiation, April 2, 2009


"I also believe that our conservation work must be driven by sound science; and that the activities we undertake for species on the ground at individual project sites must strategically support achievement of our conservation goals at broader scales, such as landscapes, major eco-regions, or entire species' ranges."

—Samuel Hamilton, nominee to be Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, July 22, 2009

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