The long-awaited guidelines for government scientists promised by President Obama in response to controversies that arose during the administration of President George W. Bush, were released on December 17, 2010 by John P. Holdren, the President’s science adviser. In March 2009, Mr. Obama stated that his aim was to “guarantee scientific integrity throughout the executive branch” and he added, “We make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.”
While some scientists have praised the new guidelines, others, such as Dr. Francesca T. Grifo, director of the scientific integrity program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, have expressed concern over one guideline in particular. This guideline states, “Federal scientists may speak to the media and the public about scientific and technological matters based on their official work,” but then adds a caveat: “with appropriate coordination with their immediate supervisor and their public affairs office.” “I don’t like the ambiguities,” Dr. Grifo said. “I don’t like the discretion it gives to the agencies.”
Read the New York Times article
“White House Issues Long-Delayed Science Guidelines” by Kenneth Chang (published December 17, 2010).
For more information on John P. Holdren, see, for example, the article
from “Who Runs GOV” by the Washington Post.