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Task Force Reports on Scientific Integrity

A new task force report recommends that the US establish a cross-agency scientific integrity council to counter political interference on science, according to Nature News.

The task force was established early in the Biden Administration and was instructed to review existing scientific integrity policies and develop polices to prevent political interference from affecting scientific data. This, CNN noted at the time, came in response to pressure exerted by the previous Trump Administration on government science agencies. For instance, Axios noted then that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was pushed by that administration to issue a misleading statement about a hurricane's path.

The new report issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy says the US needs to strengthen scientific integrity policies and that even agencies not involved in scientific research but that use scientific data should adopt such policies. In addition, the report calls for the formation of a formal interagency Scientific Integrity Council to adopt and share best practices as well as align actions across agencies.

Alondra Nelson, the OSTP's deputy director for science and society, who led the task force said at the American Geophysical Union meeting last month, according to Nature News, that this "is a process," adding that "[w]e will always be working on scientific integrity."

The Scan

For STEM Students to Stay

New policy changes will make it easier for international STEM students to stay in the US after graduation, the Wall Street Journal reports.

To Inform or Not, To Know or Not

The New York Times writes that some genetic biobanks may re-contact donors if they spot something troublesome, but it notes that not all donors want that information.

Rapid Test Studies

Researchers are examining why rapid tests may be less effective at detecting the Omicron variant and how to improve them, NPR says.

PLOS Papers on SARS-CoV-2 Diversity in Delaware, Metastatic Breast Cancer, Adiposity GWAS

In PLOS this week: genomic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 isolates from Delaware, gene expression and protein-protein interaction patterns in metastatic breast cancer, and more.