- Status Report
- August 12, 2022
Dealing With NASA's New Science Challenges
Memorandum on Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking
“Because science, facts, and evidence are vital to addressing policy and programmatic issues across the Federal Government, the heads of all agencies (not only those that fund, conduct, or oversee scientific research) shall designate expeditiously a senior career employee as the agency’s lead scientific-integrity official (“Scientific Integrity Official”) to oversee implementation and iterative improvement of scientific-integrity policies and processes consistent with the provisions of this memorandum, including implementation of the administrative and dispute resolution processes described in section (3)(c)(iii) of this memorandum. For agencies with a Chief Science Officer, the Scientific Integrity Official shall report to the Chief Science Officer on all matters involving scientific-integrity policies.”
Executive Order on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
“The PCAST shall advise the President on matters involving policy affecting science, technology, and innovation, as well as on matters involving scientific and technological information that is needed to inform public policy relating to the economy, worker empowerment, education, energy, the environment, public health, national and homeland security, racial equity, and other topics.”
Keith’s note: It will be interesting to see what happens to the National Space Council since OSTP has been elevated to cabinet-level ranking and the PCAST is being established as the nation’s focal point for generating scientific advice, policy etc. The National Space Council and its Users Advisory Group would seem to be duplicative and a needless layer of government. These directives will require NASA’s Chief Scientist and Chief Information Officer to dramatically dial up their activities. Given that the NASA Chief Scientist’s office has traditionally been mostly outreach oriented and out of the loop on many things – and that the NASA CIO’s office has dropped the ball in almost every imaginable way for more than a decade – this is going to be a challenge for the agency. And the NASA Advisory Council often exists only as a forum for civil servant powerpoint presentations. Add in a “whole of government” approach to climate change and NASA is going to be drinking from a bunch of new firehoses very soon. Science is back, y’all.