(Washington, DC) House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas, Research and Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member Stephanie Bice, and Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Ranking Member Jay Obernolte sent a letter to President Biden today raising concerns about the conduct of Dr. Jane Lubchenco.
Dr. Lubchenco is the Deputy Director for Climate and Environment at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) as well as one of the heads of an interagency task force on scientific integrity at the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). In that role, she led the development and publication of a report on Protecting the Integrity of Government Science, intended to guide best practices at government science agencies.
This role is alarming given Dr. Lubchenco’s intentional violations of long-established principles of integrity in science while in her role as an editor for the Proceedings for the National Academy of Science (PNAS). In that role, 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 Lubchenco served as the editor for that now-retracted article, which was co-authored by her brother-in-law, and she needed its conclusions published to validate her own work.
“Dr. Lubchenco demonstrated a clear disregard for rules meant to prevent conflicts of interest in publishing peer-reviewed studies,” the Ranking Members wrote. “Now, Dr. Lubchenco is playing a leading role in developing and overseeing this Administration’s best practices for scientific integrity. Her violation of one of the core tenets of scientific integrity makes her current leadership role very troubling. We are concerned that Dr. Lubchenco cannot uphold the Administration’s own policies, let alone be a model of appropriate behavior.”
“We respectfully encourage you to consider whether Dr. Lubchenco’s leading role in the Administration’s scientific integrity efforts undermines public confidence in future policy decisions,” they continued. “We also encourage you to consider if Dr. Lubchenco should continue to be involved in developing a framework for the improvement of agency scientific integrity policies and practices when she has violated the very policies she is tasked with imposing on Federal agencies. If the executive branch cannot or will not uphold the practices of scientific integrity, then Congress will have to assume a greater role in oversight of these matters.”
The full letter is available here.