April 13, 2023 

Government Accountability Project Calls for Strengthening OSTP’s Framework on Scientific Integrity Policies and Practices

A Dozen Organizations Join Together in Support of Major Changes to Keep Politics Out of Scientific Reporting

WASHINGTON – Today, Government Accountability Project joined a dozen leading environmental, public health, watchdog, reproductive health, and whistleblower groups in sending a letter to the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) regarding the Framework for Scientific Integrity Policies and Practices issued by OSTP in January 2023 with the goal of strengthening scientific integrity in U.S. federal government agencies. 

The letter recommended a set of essential improvements to the proposed OSTP Framework, including that model policy and individual agency policies contain provisions that establish 1) transparent and explicit procedures for investigating allegations; 2) written policies that delineate scientists’ ability to communicate with the media and public about their area of expertise; 3) enforceable rules with penalties that hold all scientific integrity violators accountable—including political appointees; and 4) protections for scientists from retaliation when they engage in policy dissent against a scientific integrity infraction and do not meet the definition of a whistleblower.  

Government Accountability Project’s Senior Climate Policy Analyst, Anne Polansky, stated: 

“We are proud to be joining with a dozen prominent partner organizations  in sending a letter today to the President’s Science Advisor and OSTP Director Dr. Arati Prabhakar making recommendations to strengthen its scientific integrity framework. Government Accountability Project has a long, rich history of representing whistleblower-scientists who have suffered retaliation for exposing political interference that has censored the communication of critical climate science data or disregarded science at the risk of creating nuclear safety threats, putting thousands at risk of heart attacks by unsafe drugs, and undermining women’s reproductive health. Scientific information is vital to ensuring that the policies and practices of government agencies protect public health, safety, security, and the environment. We hope OSTP considers these recommendations to further protect against political interference and efforts to silence the scientists on whose integrity we all depend.”  

You can read the letter sent to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy here.