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Top Officials Meddling in Science a Threat, White House Warns

Jan. 11, 2022, 4:12 PM

Interference from high-level officials—including political appointees—are the biggest and most vexing threat to the federal bureaucracy’s scientific process, the White House said in a Tuesday report that was billed as the first government-wide assessment of scientific integrity policy and practices.

Most government scientists follow a culture of integrity that is undergirded by professional standards and agency policies to prevent research misconduct. But those protections aren’t effective against high-level officials, according to the 67-page report from the National Science and Technology Council.

Although violations of scientific integrity happen rarely in comparison to the sheer amount of science the federal government produces, ...