House Science Subcommittees Hold Joint Hearing on Scientific Integrity in Federal Agencies
House Science Subcommittees Hold Joint Hearing on Scientific Integrity in Federal Agencies

July 2019

On July 17, the House Science Subcommittee on Research and Technology and the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight held a hearing regarding issues in ensuring research integrity at federal agencies, with a focus on H.R. 1709, the Scientific Integrity Act.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), would require federal agencies that conduct or fund scientific research to maintain clear scientific integrity principles to make policies more consistent across the federal government. The legislation would also prohibit agencies from suppressing or altering scientific findings of federal employees and would clarify that scientists at federal agencies can disseminate findings at professional conferences and be involved in service activities such as serving on boards or as peer reviewers.

Witnesses included John Neumann, managing director, Science, Technology Assessment, and Analytics at the Government Accountability Office (GAO); Michael Halpern, deputy director, Center for Science & Democracy, Union of Concerned Scientists; Roger Pielke Jr., director, Sports Governance Center, and professor, Environmental Studies Program, University of Colorado; and Joel Clement, Arctic Initiative Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School.

In his testimony, Neumann provided a summary of a GAO report detailing how selected federal agencies have scientific integrity policies that are consistent with federal guidance, have taken actions to achieve the objectives of those policies, and have procedures for identifying and addressing alleged violations of the policies.

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