April 3, 2012
On 3 April 2012, AIBS wrote to the National Park Service (NPS) regarding their draft scientific integrity policy.
The NPS policy includes many commendable provisions, including applicability to all employees, appointees, contractors, grantees, and volunteers. The policy encourages federal scientists to participate in professional scientific organizations. Additionally, the draft policy includes a code of scientific conduct for employees.
The comments from AIBS encourage NPS to make changes to strengthen certain aspects of the policy. For instance, research that informs policy decisions should be peer reviewed by independent, qualified experts. NPS scientists should be free to speak to the media and the public about scientific and technological matters based on their official work. NPS should also provide training to its workforce on ethics and scientific integrity. Additionally, NPS researchers should be encouraged to publish research findings in peer reviewed scholarly journals, to present research findings at professional meetings, and to serve as editors of scholarly journals, as well as be able to receive honors and awards based on their research and discoveries.
The draft NPS scientific integrity policy is available at http://www.nps.gov/policy/DO-79draft.pdf.
Read the comments from AIBS at http://www.aibs.org/position-statements/20120403npsscientific_integrity.html.