17 December 2010

Science Integrity Guidelines Soon to Come?

[AFTERNOON UPDATE: The Guidelines are out.]

NPR's Morning Edition had a story today (which quotes my views) on the forthcoming "science integrity" guidelines that are way overdue from the Obama Administration.  One factor helping to shake them loose is undoubtedly a lawsuit filed by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (see this PDF). (David Bruggeman has a good set of discussions.)
Last summer John Holdren, the president's science advisor, explained that the task was more difficult than they had anticipated:
I am the first to admit that the process has been more laborious and time-consuming than expected at the outset. Determining how to elaborate on the principles set forth in the Memorandum in enough detail to be of real assistance in their implementation, while at the same time retaining sufficient generality to be applicable across Executive departments and agencies with a wide variety of missions and structures, has been particularly challenging.
My guess is that once the guidelines are released their content will lead everyone to wonder why it took so long for them to be released and that they will represent the start of a process, rather than its conclusion.  Such speculation has a short shelf-life as it seems that we'll find out soon enough.