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Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
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Obama Directive Called "Sea Change" for Scientific Integrity
9 March 2009 5:14 pm
President Barack Obama's directive today to his science adviser to "restore scientific integrity to government decision-making" is a culmination of a long campaign by science advocacy groups against the policies of the Bush Administration. None of them was more active than the Union of Concerned Scientists, which produced its first report on "the politicization of science" in 2004 and which helped make scientific integrity an issue during the 2008 presidential campaign.
The issue was never partisan, insists Kurt Gottfried, chair of UCS and a physicist at Cornell University. "We took for granted that there was a code of behavior under which science operates, but what we've seen for the past 8 years is a breaking of that unwritten code," he told ScienceInsider. "Even his father [George H. W. Bush] ran a very clean shop. There have always been problems, but it was never systematic until the [George W.] Bush Administration."
Obama's directive that his Office of Science and Technology Policy draw up guidelines "to guarantee scientific integrity throughout the executive branch" is probably an overstatement, says Gottfried. "Nobody can guarantee such behavior," he says. "But it certainly sends a very clear message that the president expects scientific integrity to be upheld and that OSTP will be monitoring it closely. That's a sea change from the previous Administration."