“Biden Orders Sweeping Review Of Government Science Integrity Policies”

“President Joe Biden today [Jan. 27] created a task force that will conduct a 120-day review of scientific integrity policies across the U.S. government, including documenting instances in which “improper political interference” interfered with research or led to the suppression or distortion of data.

The review is part of a lengthy memorandum from Biden on his plans for “restoring trust” in government by emphasizing scientific integrity and the use of evidence in policymaking. The memo also calls on federal research agencies to name chief scientific officers, and for all agencies to spend 90 days reviewing the role of dozens of panels that provide scientific advice to government. Agencies will also determine whether they want to re-create technical advisory panels dismantled under former President Donald Trump.

“Scientific and technological information, data, and evidence are central to the development and iterative improvement of sound policies,” states the memo. “Improper political interference in the work of Federal scientists or other scientists who support the work of the Federal Government and in the communication of scientific facts undermines the welfare of the Nation.””

David Malakoff reports for Science January 27, 2021.