What’s next after the Science March? New paper suggests eight actions
A group of authors associated with both SCBNA and several other scientific organizations working on scientific integrity issues has just posted a preprint (link) of a new paper entitled “Defending Scientific Integrity In Conservation Policy Processes: Lessons From Canada, Australia, And The United States.” This manuscript is currently undergoing peer review at a scientific journal. The authors posted a pre-print due to the relevance of this topic to the March for Science and related current efforts to promote scientific integrity. This work represents a collaboration between academics from three nations, scientific societies (Society for Conservation Biology and its North America and Oceania sections, Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution), and NGO scientists working on scientific integrity issues at the Union of Concerned Scientists, Evidence for Democracy, and the Center for Biological Diversity.
The paper concludes “To ensure the integrity of outbound communication from government scientists to public, we suggest that governments strengthen scientific integrity policies, include scientists’ right to speak freely in collective bargaining agreements, guarantee public access to scientific information, and strengthen agency culture supporting scientific integrity. To ensure the transparency and integrity with which information from non-governmental scientists (e.g., submitted comments or formal policy reviews) informs the policy process, we suggest that governments broaden the scope of independent reviews, ensure greater diversity of expert input with transparency regarding conflicts of interest, require substantive response to input from agencies, and engage proactively with scientific societies. For their part, scientists and scientific societies have a civic responsibility to engage with the wider public to affirm that science is a crucial resource for developing evidence-based policy and regulations that are in the public interest.”