A Periodic Federal Science Update

Francis Collins Asked by Incoming Administration to Remain as Head of NIHScienceInsider is reporting that President-Elect Trump has asked Francis Collins to remain as the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), for the time being.  As is the case with many Federal agency leaders, Dr. Collins serves at the pleasure of the President and unless explicitly requested to remain, it was expected he would be stepping down as the Obama Administration comes to an end.  Press reports indicated that Dr. Collins had expressed interest in remaining at NIH. 

NSF Director has a Term by Statute -- At the National Science Foundation, the Director – Dr. Francis Cordova – has, by law, a six year term.  As such, the NSF Director does not normally offer his or her resignation to an incoming Administration as most other Presidential appointees do.  Dr. Cordova is expected to remain as the head of NSF and has been actively working with the President-Elect’s transition team assigned to cover NSF.

DOE Issues Scientific Integrity Policy Statement – in one of his last acts as Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz has issued a scientific integrity order that establishes a policy intended to (1) ensure a culture of scientific integrity; (2) strengthen the actual and perceived credibility of the Federal Government and Federal Government sponsored research; (3) facilitate the free flow of scientific and technical information consistent with privacy and classification standards and applicable laws, regulations, and DOE Orders and Policies; and (4) establish principles for conveying scientific and technological information to the public.  The cornerstone of the scientific integrity policy at DOE is that all scientists, engineers, or others supported by DOE are free and encouraged to share their scientific findings and views. This includes federal staff, including the heads of departmental elements and heads of field elements, scientists and engineers at DOE laboratories and field sites, other contractors who support the R&D mission, and financial assistance recipients. These personnel are also free to share their personal views and opinions on scientific or technical related policy matters, provided they do not attribute these views to the U.S. Government. A copy of the DOE policy statement and order can be downloaded here.