Senate Introduces Science Integrity Act
Senate Introduces Science Integrity Act

February 2017

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, introduced the “Scientific Integrity Bill” (S. 338) on February 7. The bill, with almost 30 other co-sponsors—all Democrats to date—aims to protect scientific integrity in research conducted or funded by the federal government.

The bill would codify existing policies at numerous federal agencies, which were put into place as a result of an executive order by President Barack Obama requiring agencies to develop policies to protect scientific integrity.

As introduced, S. 338 would require the head of every federal agency funding or conducting scientific research to “develop and enforce” a scientific integrity policy that ensures the “scientific conclusions and personnel actions regarding scientists are not based on political considerations.”

The policy requires that a scientist be allowed to review public materials citing his or her work or opinion. Agency heads must also “promote the open exchange of data and findings” and “prevent the intentional or unintentional suppression or distortion of the data and findings” of research conducted by a scientist who is either employed or contracted by the Federal agency.