Release of New Scientific Integrity Policy Commended by International Science Organization

7 December 2011

Joint Release

San Francisco — Today, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) — an organization of 60,000 Earth and space scientists — commended the release of a new scientific integrity policy by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The policy, which was released today during AGU’s 44th annual Fall Meeting in San Francisco, is designed to ensure high quality standards in NOAA science and to promote a culture of transparency, integrity, and ethical behavior in the agency’s work.

“As a nation, we face complex environmental, public health, and security challenges. Making informed decisions for our future requires that policy makers and the public be able to trust the integrity of our science,” said Michael J. McPhaden, AGU president*. “AGU is dedicated to advancing the geophysical sciences for the benefit of humanity, and we appreciate that establishing such a policy will strengthen the science and our ability to use it for the public good. The release of NOAA’s new policy is an important step forward in ensuring that scientific research and discovery will continue to play a major role in addressing societal needs.”

McPhaden also added that AGU has started its own Task Force on Scientific Ethics and has begun to solicit member feedback for updating and revising the Union’s policy on scientific integrity.

The NOAA policy applies to employees and contractors, and covers a number of areas, including publishing and communicating research and results, as well as to the ability of scientists to participate in professional organizations and to receive awards. The policy was developed in response to guidelines released last year by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and was opened to public comment in the summer of 2011. It represents specific, detailed implementation of a directive from President Obama for all agencies to give clear guidance for ensuring scientific integrity at all levels of government.

*Dr. McPhaden is also a senior scientist with NOAA.

The American Geophysical Union is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization with more than 60,000 members representing over 148 countries. AGU advances the Earth and space sciences through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs.

AGU Contact:
Joan Buhrman, 202-777-7509 (w), 571-213-3812 (c), E-mail: [email protected]