Monday, December 19, 2011

NASA Reaffirms Scientific Integrity Policy

According to a press release issued on December 16th:

NASA has reaffirmed its commitment to science with the release of a new framework on scientific integrity. The framework summarizes the agency's policies and practices that strengthen and uphold scientific integrity. This represents the first time NASA has codified these policies under the umbrella of scientific integrity.

"Integrity is woven throughout the fabric of NASA, and science plays a leading role in that," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "This framework reflects and strengthens our commitment to open, honest, unrestricted and fair science practices, and sustains a culture that promotes them."

To support this culture of transparency, the framework reaffirms NASA's public communications policy of 2006, which states NASA scientists may speak freely with the public about scientific and technical matters.

"The ability to accurately and widely communicate our amazing science discoveries is one of our highest priorities," said NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "NASA set a high standard with its forward-looking communications policy in 2006, and today we welcome the opportunity to join other agencies that are re-dedicating themselves to the highest standards of scientific excellence and advancing public trust in our discoveries."

NASA and other federal agencies submitted scientific integrity policies in response to a memorandum issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in December 2010. NASA's framework expands on the President's Memorandum to Department and Agency Heads on Scientific Integrity issued March 9, 2009, and specifies how the agency will address key issues.

In addition to public communications, the framework addresses professional development of government scientists and engineers, peer review and other topics. In developing its framework, NASA leadership evaluated the agency's existing policies and sought opportunities to improve and build on them. The agency currently is revising certain policies, including directives on the use of federal advisory committees. NASA will continue evaluating and improving policies within the framework through its formal review and renewal process.

Click here to download a PDF and read NASA's Framework on Scientific Integrity.

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