Jump to content
Ornithology Exchange

Controversial ‘Open Science’ Secretarial Order rescinded


Recommended Posts

This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 10 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including OrnithologyExchange and the Ornithological Council.

The Department of the Interior announced that acting Interior Secretary Scott de la Vega signed a secretarial order revoking the Trump-era “Open Science” order issued in 2018 by then-Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt. The new order also calls for a review of all departmental activities taken as a result of the Trump administration's scientific policies.

The new order notes that the previous directive was developed without review and input from the scientific community, and that it “significantly hindered the Department’s ability to enter into contracts for cutting-edge research, particularly when such research involved proprietary data,” and “left the Department’s scientific endeavors vulnerable to political influence.” It also noted that the previous administration never took the steps required by the order itself to update internal Departmental Manuals or agency rules. 

Read the new secretarial order here

*****

DOI Press Release

Interior Department Takes Steps to Strengthen Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking: Revokes Secretarial Order that improperly restricted agency’s use of science and data

Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Contact: Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov 

WASHINGTON – The Interior Department today took steps to recommit to scientific integrity and empower the agency’s scientific and technical experts to use the best available science. Signed on Interior’s 172nd birthday and the 142nd birthday for the U.S. Geological Survey, Secretarial Order 3397 revokes Secretarial Order 3369 – falsely branded the “open science” rule – that imposed improper restrictions on what science and data could be considered in the Department’s policymaking.

“Science is at the heart of Interior’s mission – from protecting endangered species to conducting environmental assessments for energy projects,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary - Water and Science Tanya Trujillo. “Today’s Order puts the evaluation and decision-making authority regarding scientific information back where it should be: in the hands of the scientists. It’s an important step toward restoring trust in government and strengthening scientific integrity at the Interior Department.”

Today’s Order initiates a review of all agency activities taken pursuant to SO 3369 and provides direction to the Department to comply with President Biden’s memorandum to advance scientific integrity.

The 2018 Secretarial Order was issued without due consideration and review by the Department’s career scientists and officials, or by the broader scientific community. Among the serious concerns with the Order’s directives, it hindered the Department’s ability to enter into contracts for cutting-edge research, and precluded the Department from utilizing sensitive information – e.g., regarding sacred sites or rare and threatened species – to inform complex policy decisions.

Acting Secretary de la Vega’s Order directs that scientific merit, not political interference, will guide agency decision-making; prevents the suppression or distortion of scientific or technological findings, data, information, conclusions, or technical results; and supports scientists and researchers of all genders, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

Interior leadership has begun a review of the scientific integrity programs within the Department and is re-invigorating Interior's Science Advisors’ Council.

****

About the Ornithological Council

The Ornithological Council is a consortium of 10 scientific societies of ornithologists; these societies span the Western Hemisphere and the research conducted by their members spans the globe. Their cumulative expertise comprises the knowledge that is fundamental and essential to science-based bird conservation and management. The Ornithological Council is financially supported by our 10 member societies and the individual ornithologists who value our work. If the OC’s resources are valuable to you, please consider joining one of our member societies or donating directly at Birdnet.org. Thank you for your support!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...