Today, House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) sent a letter to Dr. Arati Prabhakar, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) requesting information about how the Administration handled scientific integrity violations by a high-level OSTP official.
Dr. Jane Lubchenco serves as the Deputy Director for Climate and Environment at OSTP, and has played a leading role in developing the Administration’s interagency guidance on “Protecting the Integrity of Government Science.” She was found to have violated long-established principles of scientific integrity while in her role as an editor for the Proceedings for the National Academy of Science (PNAS). Dr. Lubchenco ignored rules meant to prevent conflicts of interest and reviewed, edited, and published a flawed article. Dr. Lubchenco served as the editor for that now-retracted article, which was co-authored by her brother-in-law, and she needed its conclusions published to validate her own work.
The letter is the third oversight request on this matter, following a letter in February of 2022 first raising concerns about Lubchenco’s conduct and another in September of 2022 after she was sanctioned by the National Academies of Science for her transgressions.
The White House has not responded to either oversight request.
“Dr. Lubchenco continues to lead federal science policy efforts and represents the United States on the international stage, despite being barred from participating in the activities of a renowned scientific organization,” Lucas wrote. “Dr. Lubchenco’s continued role and recent publications affecting scientific integrity policy across the federal government are inherently hypocritical in light of her own scientific integrity violations, as confirmed by the NAS. This pattern of ignoring congressional requests and oversight is alarming, especially in the wake of concerns regarding the leadership and culture of the OSTP after former Director Eric Lander resigned following a White House investigation that found ‘credible evidence of violations of the [Executive Office of the President’s] Safe and Respectful Workplace Policy,’ as well as ‘bullying’ and ‘disrespectful interactions with staff.’”
The Committee requested a response from the Administration by February 10, 2023.
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