Protecting Scientific Integrity: An Update

Protecting Scientific integrity: An Update

Congress is currently considering legislation to address problems relating to scientific integrity, including measures to prevent political interference with the work of government scientists. In May, the Center for Inquiry produced a position paper that proposed legislation that would prevent tampering with federally funded scientific research and promote the impartiality of federal advisory committees. The Center also recommended repeal or reform of the Data Quality Act.

The Center has continued to study and consider the problem of protecting scientific integrity following submission of our first position paper on this set of issues. Based on the Center’s further work, we have additional recommendations. Specifically, CFI recommends statutory language to ensure that scientists may communicate their personal views on matters of public concern and to re-establish the Office of Technology Assessment. CFI also has additional recommendations on reforming the Data Quality Act. Specifically, CFI recommends that any request for correction (RFC) submitted under the Data Quality Act include a representation under penalties of perjury that the complainant has presented all relevant information of which it is aware, whether or not publicly available at the time of the RFC. CFI believes this will act as a disincentive to the filing of frivolous RFCs.

CFI’s latest position paper on scientific integrity was authored by Ronald A. Lindsay, J.D., Ph.D., Derek Araujo, J.D., and Daniel Horowitz, J.D.  Dr. Lindsay is Director of Research and Legal Affairs for CFI. He is an honors graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and received his Ph.D. in bioethics from Georgetown University. Mr. Araujo is the Executive Director of CFI-New York. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was Senior Editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Before joining CFI, he was a litigation associate with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. Mr. Horowitz is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law. He has worked in private practice and the government for 30 years, specializing in the field of federal income taxation. While continuing in that practice part-time, he now also volunteers for CFI as well as other organizations

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