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Safeguarding Against Distortions of Scientific Research in Federal Policymaking

January 2021

Citation: 51 ELR 10014

Issue: 1

Author: Melissa L. Kelly, Genna Reed, Gretchen T. Goldman, and Jacob M. Carter

The appropriate use of science in policymaking depends upon integrity in scientific research and in the ways in which that research is communicated and applied throughout the policymaking process. On May 22, 2019, the University of California, Irvine School of Law’s Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources (CLEANR) and the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) convened a roundtable that brought together leading scientists, scholars, advocates, and policymakers to explore potential safeguards to protect scientific research and its use in federal policymaking. Based on the discussions at that roundtable, CLEANR and UCS offered recommendations for the executive branch, the U.S. Congress, and federal agencies to better protect against conflicts of interest, and to secure and advance the role of science in policymaking. This Comment expands upon the recommendations CLEANR and UCS proposed in the September 2020 fact sheet, Conflicts of Interest at Federal Agencies: Recommendations for 2021 and Beyond.

Melissa L. Kelly is Staff Director and Attorney at the University of California, Irvine School of Law’s Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources (CLEANR). Genna Reed is Senior Analyst in the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Gretchen T. Goldman is Research Director of the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS. Jacob M. Carter is a Research Scientist in the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS.

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