SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA—Top Obama Administration officials said yesterday here at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) that long-awaited federal guidelines on scientific integrity are coming out this month.
After much criticism over the Bush Administration's handling of scientific advice, incoming President Barack Obama said that his Administration would "restore science to its rightful place." In March of 2009, the president laid out basic principles he expected federal agencies to follow. He also asked the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to create guidelines for the agencies within 4 months.
But they're 16 months late, and the delay has led to criticism from lawmakers and activists. (At the AGU meeting outside a lecture by presidential science adviser John Holdren, an official with the Union of Concerned Scientists handed out orange stickers saying "Hey Mr. President—We are ready for scientific integrity!")
Getting the agencies and the White House to agree "has been a more-challenging task than expected," admitted Holdren in his talk on science policy in the Obama Administration that he delivered yesterday to more than 700 attendees. But he said the guidelines would be out by the end of December, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator Jane Lubchenco said later that they could appear as soon as this week.