Generally Positive Reviews for Obama Science Policy

December 21, 2010

Sometimes it's all about expectations. With his March 2009 speech promising to restore science to a place of centrality and honor in federal policy making and to protect it from political interference, President Obama raised the expectations of researchers and higher education generally. So last week, when his administration finally released the "scientific integrity" policy statement that he had promised 18 months earlier, it was widely applauded but seen in some circles as too unspecific and leaving too much up to individual agencies to follow (or not). In a comment reflective of many views in the blogosphere, Albert H. Teich, director of science and policy programs at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said via e-mail that "this long-awaited memorandum represents several steps in the right direction. It's not a one-size fits all approach; the use of 'appropriate' in many places suggests that it allows considerable room for discretion in the way it's implemented by the agencies.... All in all, we are pleased with the memo, but of course a lot depends on steps the agencies take to implement it."

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