A new US scientific integrity panel is to meet later this week to ferret out any instances in which political considerations may have interfered with science, the Associated Press reports.
"We want people to be able to trust what the federal government is telling you, whether it’s a weather forecast or information about vaccine safety or whatever," Jane Lubchenco, the deputy director for climate and environment at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, tells the AP.
President Joe Biden created the task force in a memorandum issued in January to review scientific regulatory policies at federal agencies. As Science noted at the time, the creation of the task force was seen as a rebuke to the Trump Administration. A report from the Brennan Center at New York University, for instance, found that scientific independence was eroding under the previous administration and pointed to, as an example, 'Sharpiegate' in which misleading information about the path of a hurricane was issued.
Rice University's Douglas Brinkley tells the AP that the Biden Administration approach to examining scientific integrity is flawed as it is only looking back to 2009 and he says a longer view looking all the way back to 1945 should be taken.