AAU joined AAAS, AAMC, APLU, and COGR in submitting a joint comment letter in response to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s request for information on improving federal scientific integrity policies. The letter addressed several issues related to how federal agencies can adopt and implement standards for scientific integrity while building public trust about the value and impact of federal science. The letter emphasized to OSTP that while strengthening policies on scientific integrity is a good start, “ensuring that these policies are adhered to, and evaluating outcomes from their implementation, should be a key part of the process to improve scientific integrity.”
The letter suggested several measures federal agencies can take to improve scientific communication, including asking scientists to publicly discuss their work, disseminating scientific information through multiple channels, adopting policies that promote public understanding of the scientific process, and informing the public about existing guardrails that protect science from political interference. The letter also urged OSTP to broaden the concept of scientific integrity to include issues that affect research integrity but fall outside the focused definition of “research misconduct.” Finally, the letter asked OSTP to promote consistency in the application and implementation of policies across federal agencies and to be as transparent as possible whenever it acts against violations.