OSU vice president to participate in White House meeting


CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Richard Spinrad, vice president for research at Oregon State University, will meet with officials at the White House on July 26 to discuss a proposed federal policy on scientific integrity.

In his previous position as a scientist and research administrator with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Spinrad helped to draft a policy that defines the relationship between scientists and the policymakers who use their results.

“Most of us grew up in the world of ‘better living through chemistry,’” Spinrad said. “Now it’s a ‘climategate’ world. And since science is part of everyday life, we need to affirm our commitment to using the best science to inform decisions.”

The meeting among federal agency officials and scientists stems from an Obama administration initiative announced before the National Academy of Sciences in 2009. With input from federal agencies, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy produced draft guidelines in December 2010. Spinrad helped lead the effort for the Department of Commerce, the parent agency for NOAA.

Among the issues covered by the policy are autonomy for scientists reporting on the results of federally funded research, news media access to scientists and the participation of scientists in policy development. The purpose of the new federal policy, said Spinrad, is to affirm and codify standard practice for using peer-reviewed science in agency rules and regulations.