Legislation Introduced to Protect Scientific Integrity

FDA scientistA bill to protect scientific integrity in federal research and policymaking has been introduced by Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and 24 other members of the U.S. Senate.

This bill, the Scientific Integrity Act (S. 338) would prevent political appointees from re-writing scientific findings and guarantee that science research performed by federal employees and at taxpayer expense is free and open to the public. It would also require federal agencies to develop scientific integrity policies. The minimum standards for such policies would include professional standards for conducting research; preventing political tampering with research findings; freedom of speech for scientists; and due process for federal scientists whose rights have been violated.

FDA investigatorsRecently, there have been suggestions that political appointees should review, revise or suppress research done by federal employees following professional standards. NTEU not only opposes discipline or firing of federal employees because of political disapproval of their scientific research but also stands behind the right of professionals to maintain the highest standards of the craft they have been trained in.

Because of the particular importance of this issue for FDA employees, I encourage you to visit the NTEU Legislative Action Center to learn more about the efforts to protect federal employees’ scientific integrity.