Scientific Integrity: Eight reforms needed to defend the conservation policy process
SCB North America’s Policy Committee (SNAP) recently convened a transnational team of scientists to identify policies on scientific integrity which should be supported by scientists and scientific societies active on the issue. The result is a new study published in the journal Conservation Biology which identified eight reforms which are needed to defend the scientific integrity of policy processes related to conservation of endangered species and ecosystems.
The new study identifies four key steps by which this outbound scientific communication be safeguarded:
- Strengthen scientific integrity policies;
- Include scientists’ right to speak freely in collective bargaining agreements;
- Guarantee public access to scientific information;
- Strengthen agency culture supporting scientific integrity.
Strengthening scientific integrity policies when many administrations are publicly hostile to science is challenging. Scientists must shift away from reactive defense of protections for scientific integrity and toward their expansion. The goal is to institutionalize a culture of scientific integrity in the development and implementation of conservation policies. A transnational movement to defend science will improve the odds that good practices will be retained and strengthened under more science-friendly administrations.