U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) issued the following statement regarding the National Academies report on Open Science By Design.
The National Academies just released a report on the benefits of open science with recommendations for fostering transparency and data sharing. As the report says, “research conducted openly and transparently leads to better science.” The report also notes that the principles underpinning open science include, “the taxpayer’s right to the results of publicly funded research; the ability of any member of society to scrutinize, evaluate, challenge and reproduce scientific claims; and the opportunity for anyone, including private citizens, to build directly on the scientific investigations of others.” The report goes on to note that open science facilitates better quality research through the prevention and correction of mistakes.
These conclusions are in line with H.R. 1430, the HONEST Act, a bipartisan bill which was passed by the House in 2017. The HONEST Act requires the EPA to base its decisions on information available to scientists and the American public. Both the HONEST Act and the EPA’s proposed rule on Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science reaffirm existing laws prohibiting the disclosure of confidential or proprietary data and contain additional provisions to protect confidential data. Environmental regulations, which are ultimately funded by taxpayers, should be based on open and replicable studies. I will continue to support the principles of open science and to push for transparency in government.