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Interior issues new ‘open science’ policy

Cara J

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Interior Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt issued a new policy on ‘open science’ Sept. 28. Under the four-page memo, Interior bureaus will be required to make publicly available the scientific data and analysis used to develop new rules, as well as the methodology used to gather the data. Regulators will also have to ensure that all scientific literature used or relied on for such rulemaking are made publicly available. The purpose of the order is to ensure that Interior “bases its decisions on best available science and provide the American people with enough information to thoroughly and substantively evaluate the data, methodology, and analysis used by the Department to inform its decisions.” Citing its obligation to ensure that the department makes its decisions based on the best available science, the order calls on its bureaus to “utilize and prioritize publicly available, reproducible, peer-reviewed science to the extent possible.” If regulators make a decision based on data that is not publicly available, peer reviewed, or readily reproducible, they must provide an explanation as to why the data relied on is the best available information. Deputy Interior secretaries can waive the provisions of the order if they determine that such as waiver is [...]

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