THE WHITE HOUSE
the Press Secretary
Immediate Release March 9, 2009
MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND
SUBJECT: Scientific Integrity
Science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of my Administration on a wide range of issues, including improvement of public health, protection of the environment, increased efficiency in the use of energy and other resources, mitigation of the threat of climate change (Think Hemp Biofuels and Composite Hemp building materials such as Hemcrete), and protection of national security.
The public must be able to trust the science and scientific process informing public policy decisions. Political officials should not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings and conclusions. If scientific and technological information is developed and used by the Federal Government, it should ordinarily be made available to the public. To the extent permitted by law, there should be transparency in the preparation, identification, and use of scientific and technological information in policymaking. The selection of scientists and technology professionals for positions in the executive branch should be based on their scientific and technological knowledge, credentials, experience, and integrity.
A Justice Department lawyer on Tuesday put forth the position that the law relied upon in the case does not allow citizens to seek correction of government misinformation through the judicial process, but instead lays down a perception that administrative remedies were the intended means of seeking redress and correction of misleading or fraudulent information put out by an agency of our Federal Government. It is the position of Alisa Klein, and by PROXY President Barack Obama that the Information Policy Act passed in 2000 requires only that a Federal Agency review such requests from the public. That is not exactly true...if you look at the act, it spells out certain duties and responsibilities:
- (B) establish administrative mechanisms allowing affected persons to seek and obtain correction of information maintained and disseminated by the agency that does not comply with the guidelines issued under subsection (a); and
- (C) report periodically to the Director –
- (i) the number and nature of complaints received by the agency regarding the accuracy of information disseminated by the agency; and
- (ii) how such complaints were handled by the agency. (Simply reviewing and dismissing them is inadequate.)
We expect the National Institutes of Health to keep America at the forefront of medical research, and work toward a cure for cancer in our time. And for as long as I am President, these agencies will be led by exceptional individuals who stand on the side of the American people; who push politics aside in favor of proven science; who eschew stale ideology for sound ideas and a focus on what works.