NOAA strives for scientific integrity

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From their own press release here

NOAA Scientific Integrity

“Scientific integrity is at the core of conducting ethical science. By being open and honest about our science, we build understanding and trust. I pledged at the start of my tenure at NOAA to bring diligence, transparency, fairness, integrity, and accountability to the job.”

Dr. Jane Lubchenco,

NOAA Administrator

Science is the foundation of all NOAA does. NOAA’s weather forecasts and warnings, nautical charts, climate information, fishing regulations, coastal management recommendations, and satellites in the sky all depend on science. The quality of NOAA science is exemplary, and many of NOAA’s scientists are recognized as national and international experts in their fields.

NOAA has been working to develop a scientific integrity policy that would continue and enhance NOAA’s culture of transparency, integrity, and ethical behavior.

To this end, NOAA has embarked on a thoughtful and transparent effort to draft a policy to uphold the principles of scientific integrity contained in the President’s March 9, 2009 memorandum and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) director, John Holdren’s December 17, 2010 memorandum on scientific integrity.

In April, NOAA submitted a progress report to OSTP describing its progress on developing a scientific integrity policy and describing relevant policies currently in effect.

Sea Grant fosters regional approaches to studying coastal ecosystems.

High resolution (Credit: Dave Partee/Alaska Sea Grant)

In February 2011, an early draft scientific integrity policy was shared with all of the agency’s employees for their review and comment. A revised draft taking into consideration comments received from NOAA employees and additional internal review is being prepared for release for public comment, and will be posted here once available.

===============================================================

I guess this means that Dr. Thomas Peterson of NCDC won’t be able to write ghost authored talking points against citizen scientists anymore?

Unfortunately, as far as I know, the public hasn’t been invited to comment on this new policy yet, which seems to me a key point for fostering integrity. However, I’ve located a copy of the draft (dated 3-30-2011), and you can read it here:

3_30_11_NOAA_Scientific_Integrity_draft (PDF)

I will give NOAA this much, they’ve stopped using this ridiculous slogan we’ve pointed out previously:

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.

And replaced it with a more sensible one in recent press releases:

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.

So maybe they listen to us after all.

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Latitude

“I pledged at the start of my tenure at NOAA to bring diligence, transparency, fairness, integrity, and accountability to the job.”
=======================================================
So you’re just saying that prior to Feb 2011, this didn’t exist at NOAA….
…we already knew that
Let us know when it’s implemented….

Gary Pearse

Engineers subscribe to a strict code of ethics and there are disciplinary measures that can have an engineer suspended for violation of them. These are promulgated in Acts of Provincial Parliaments in Canada and I believe State Legislations in USA. Its time for scientists to be guided by similar enforceable codes.

Andrew30

NOAA was established in 1970.
In February 2011, an early draft scientific integrity policy was shared with all of the agency’s employees for their review and comment.
NOAA, lacking integrity for over 40 years. I guess in another few years they may have a ‘working paper’ rather than just a draft. Considering that they are part of the Department of Commerce does the fact that they do not actually have an integrity policy actually surprise anyone.
The Department of Commerce deals with Money, do you understand, they are not a scientific organization, they are a money organization.

Robert M

Wow, they sound just like a four year old after they have been caught stealing candy. Lots of talk about how they will obey the rules, but my four year old knew that talk would not cut it. These guys seem to think all they need to do is talk and all will be forgiven. Not!

“Scientific integrity is at the core of conducting ethical science. By being open and honest about our science, we build understanding and trust. I pledged at the start of my tenure at NOAA to bring diligence, transparency, fairness, integrity, and accountability to the job.”
As Hungarian peasants used to say in response to the standard communist greeting “Freedom!”: That’s what would be needed. And some rain.
(In a time when all their property was confiscated and he who has shown any resistance was taken at gunpoint by men wearing leather jackets, just before dawn, in a black car, never to return, nor to be heard about ever)

rbateman

“So maybe they listen to us after all. ”
Maybe, and then there is that razor-sharp budget axe freshly ground.
Either way works for me.

Buzz Belleville

What a sad commentary, not of NOAA, but of the responses thereto on this site.
Motivation for the directive (aimed at all scientific agencies in the federal govt, including NOAA, FDA, USDA and EPA) to implement an “integrity” policy was to prevent the political interference into the scientific process, as happened with the last administration rewriting scientific conclusions, especially as it relates to climate change.
It severely harms the credibility of skeptics to criticize efforts to protect scientific information and the people who create it from political interference. I’m sure the echo chamber on some web sites will cherry-pick in order to imply (or directly state) that these agencies lacked ‘integrity’ in the past, but the grown-ups in the room know better. Some anti-govt folks have been attacking the ‘integrity’ of certain agencies’ processes with respect to scientific inquiries, so the agencies transparently adopt an integrity policy and the same folks criticize the agencies for taking such a step. Intellectual dishonesty certainly does run rampant, but not within these agencies.

DirkH

They probably mean Post-Normal Scientific Integrity anyway.

Athelstan.

That other paragon of integrity, tenuous sticklers for academic rigour and absolute objectivity, are changing the goalposts again.
H/T The Bishop!
Perhaps, they know the new report is as ***p as their [undergraduate] most recent effort: the AR4.

Shrnfr

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, not the pudding model. We shall see.

Steve T

page 9 Section Ten, under the heading Science, should that be deduction rather than induction?
More seriously, is this going to be the backing for a bigger push for authority. After all, now they’ve got integrity everyone!

Jay

Like Gandhi’s comment when asked what he thought of “Western civilization”.
He replied, “It would be a good idea”

Ian

It is interesting reading about a major climate science organisation and it is always interesting to read WUWT. However, despite the comments from those who post here, I think the “warmists” have won. The MSM doesn’t run much on alternative views of climate change concentrating its reporting on “the science”. Despite the furore “Climategate” engendered nothing really came of it and the various scientists involved have been cleared of any misdemeanors. Here in Australia the government’s Climate Change Commission has just released a report giving dire warnings of sea level rises, droughts, floods etc if CO2 levels are not cut by 2020. This has encouraged the government to progress “Carbon Tax” legislation. Thanks to WUWT and other sites for their efforts but I fear the sceptics have been vanquished

Jay Davis

I really hate to be political, but while Obama is president, I don’t believe a word out of the mouth of any of his appointees!

Legatus

The first question is, what policy is currently in effect for “scientific integrity” and has it been followed? Have things like the hockey stick come out of this “integrity”? Have freedom of information requests been illegally denied with this “integrity”? Has all testimony to congress and the administration been shown to be done with “integrity”? If we are just now getting around to “integrity”, then this must be a change. That would mean that formerly, there was no integrity. That would mean that they were lying to congress, the administration, and the American people before this. When they “get integrity”, will they prove it by making the appropriate arrests, since lying to Congress is a crime?
Second, who cares what wonderful promises of “integrity” come from this? I mean, the USSR had a constitution with wonderful promises of freedom, they simply ignored it, will this be ignored also? If it is, and further lack of integrity is shown, will efforts to document that be blocked with further secrecy and illegal blocking of the freedom of information act?
In otherwords, put your nmoney where your mouth is, let’s see some arrests.

Tom T

“NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.”
How about replacing the last part with “And attempt to and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.”

DesertYote

Dr. Jane Lubchenco, now there’s a name we can all trust.

P Walker

Jay Davis – Smart move . I don’t believe a word that comes out of the mouth of the One who appointed them either . If he gets reelected , we’re in serious trouble .

geo

Well, that mission statement change is a positive. And, yes, several of us here advocated a change in wording very similar to the one they adopted. But then GMTA (Great Minds Think Alike). And I appreciate the effort.
But then I check to see if Serreze is still head of NSIDC, and. . . yeppers. Tho technically speaking, NOAA is just one of their largest “sponsors”, not actually their bosses.
So, anyway, WIP/Incomplete, but keep trying, folks.

Peter Miller

The problem with those in government organisations given the burden of producing accurate scientific data and forecasts is very simply a consideration of this:
1. “I don’t want to lose my comfortable, well paid, job and pension”, and
2. What do my my political masters want/need so I can achieve the above?
Hence the cult of the Team and its members’ supposed belief in AGW – you have to think in terms of a war situation, when you have to have people who are really competent and not those who tell you that they are competent.
Unfortunately, NOAA would get an F in a wartime situation, as they can only say they are competent, but their motivation (as demonstrated above) is highly suspect.

Gary

Section 4.03 says,

“In cases where there is an allegation of scientific or research misconduct, the Procedural Handbook for this Order (under development) provides detailed guidance for the inquiry, investigation, and adjudication of the allegation, as well as for protecting the confidentiality and the reputation of individuals involved.”

All well and good, but there needs to be a ombudman who will resolve criticisms and complaints that don’t rise to the level of misconduct. Unacknowledged Photoshopped images are an example.
Section 5.01c says all staff will,

“Differentiate among facts, opinions, hypotheses, and professional judgment in the reporting of scientific activities and scientific uncertainty to others, including scientists, decision makers, and the public.”

Seeing this actually implemented will go a long way in restoring some measure of trust in NOAA pronouncements.

Anything is possible

NOAA Scientific Integrity
“Scientific integrity is at the core of conducting ethical science. By being open and honest about our science, we build understanding and trust. I pledged at the start of my tenure at NOAA to bring diligence, transparency, fairness, integrity, and accountability to the job.”
Dr. Jane Lubchenco,
NOAA Administrator
____________________________________________________________
How about a statement from Dr. Lubchenco explaining precisely why all this can’t be taken for granted?

Jay Davis says:
May 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm
I really hate to be political, but while Obama is president, I don’t believe a word out of the mouth of any of his appointees!

The transparency he promised, he hasn’t delivered, so why expect it from others.
Unfortunately, our main stream media promotes promises and ignores when they are not fulfilled.
NOAA’s changes appear good on paper. Promoting them will bolster support for NOAA. Whether they actually are enforced will probably not be noticed by any non-skeptics and the skeptics observations will continue to be ignored.
The more things change, the more they remain the same.

John from CA

NOAA strives for scientific integrity <– lol, when did they lose their "scientific integrity"?

Richard deSousa

They can start by firing James Hansen.

alan

Change from: “NOAA understands…” to “NOAA’s mission is to understand …”
I suppose that depends on the meaning of the word “IS”.

Dave

Gary Pearse says:
May 23, 2011 at 1:09 pm
Engineers subscribe to a strict code of ethics and there are disciplinary measures that can have an engineer suspended for violation of them. These are promulgated in Acts of Provincial Parliaments in Canada and I believe State Legislations in USA. Its time for scientists to be guided by similar enforceable codes.
Hi Gary.
Quite right, if an engineer designs/produces a faulty piece of equipment, it will show fairly quickly and come back to haunt the producing company and the engineer involved, in the way of expensive recalls or even law suites (Like Toyota)
Heres a simple example:
If a car’s wheel’s broke off because of poor engineering / design flaw, the publicity could cripple a company’s financial bottom line and reputation.
Climate scientist have no such checks and bounds, they can litterly operate anyway they want with a wink and a nod from there fellow peer review believers, in most cases this can be equated to a form of inbreeding with too small a group producing secretive, unsupportable or checkable data, so much for diversity (as evidenced from the fraudulent hockeystick with the backing of the IPPC) there is no so disciplinary measures, in fact they are bribed, sanctioned and encouraged to perpetuate the fraud, they can and do get away with climate model murder.

Latitude

Jay Davis says:
May 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm
I really hate to be political, but while Obama is president, I don’t believe a word out of the mouth of any of his appointees!
=====================================================
I don’t know why not……
….this is the exact same pledge he made
/snarc

Dave

Hi Gary.
Quite right, if an engineer designs/produces a faulty piece of equipment, it will show fairly quickly and come back to haunt the producing company and the engineer involved, in the way of expensive recalls or even law suites (Like Toyota)
A simple example:
If a car’s wheel’s broke off because of poor engineering / design flaw, the publicity could cripple a company’s financial bottom line and reputation.
Climate scientist have no such checks and bounds, they can literally operate anyway they want with a wink and a nod from there fellow peer review believers, in most cases this can be equated to a form of inbreeding with too small a group producing secretive, unsupportable or checkable data, so much for diversity (as evidenced from the fraudulent hockeystick with the backing of the IPPC) there is no so disciplinary measures, in fact they are bribed, sanctioned and encouraged to perpetuate the fraud, they can and do get away with climate model murder.

Buzz Belleville

Mr. deSousa — Hansen doesn’t work for NOAA …

Louis Hissink

So now we have “ethical science” – and what are the other sciences called that are not “ethical”?

jim hogg

All the policy in the world doesn’t guarantee integrity. Only deeds confer integrity. But, to be fair, it’s exceedingly difficult to be scrupulously accurate, to resolutely consider all sides of an issue, to pursue the truth regardless of the consequences, and to see all the implications of old and new evidence.
However, there seem to be too many at work in the field of science – as in politics – who are self serving, or weak, or lacking intellect or imagination, or too vulnerable to their personal prejudices/preferences, or several or all of these.
The furtherance of science depends on their exposure by scientists of integrity, journalists who place the inviolable truth above all else, and, in the end, reality, the hardest judge of all.
Policy can just as easily be as much of a smokescreen as marketing slogans, instead of a platform for the pursuit of knowledge.

Evan Jones

I am so glad to hear they will be releasing their adjustment code and manuals. Right?

Buzz Belleville

evanmjones — The raw data for every single NOAA temp reconstruction and ‘state of the climate’ report is readily available on line, and their adjustment methods are described in detail at multiple sites including their own.

Mark_K

Richard deSousa says:
May 23, 2011 at 2:56 pm
They can start by firing James Hansen.
That would probably be easier if he worked for NOAA.

Glen of Aus

NOAA, IPCC and BOM should really just tell it like it is: “Scientific integrity is outside the fringe of conducting AGW science. By being secretive and fraudualent about our science, we convince the public to submit to a Worldwide Socialist Government. I pledged at the start of my tenure at NOAA to bring deceit, trotskyism, fraud, intolerance, and authoritarianism to the job.”

Steve Oregon

Jane’s first stop in her pursuit of scientific integrity should be http://www.climatecentral.org
http://www.climatecentral.org/about/people/
Founding Board
Jane Lubchenco
Dr. Lubchenco serves as Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Prior to her Senate confirmation in early 2009, she resigned from the Board of Climate Central.
So while she has resigned from the CC board and allows ClimateCentral to be PropagandaCentral she’s claiming to preserving scientific integrity?
What about Lunchenco claiming ocean acidification is causing Osteoporosis of the Sea?
Dr. Lubchenco believes climate models are now sufficiently “robust” to predict wind patterns 100 years from now.
Her National Climate Service would help businesses, elected officials and regulators make good decisions on issues like where to put buildings or roads or wind farms.
Lubchenco declared that science would guide the agency and that she expects it to play a role in developing a green economy.
At OSU Lubchenco fabricated an AGW link to Oregon’s seasonal ocean dead zones that her $9 million NAS grant research team failed to establish. Reasearchers cautioned they were “unable to establish the extent of the link, if any, to global warming.”
That didn’t stop Lubchenco from so widely distributing her fabricated link that even RealClimate regulars became convinced it was “established science”.
With one of them responding “Changes in the timing of upwelling off the Oregon coast has been linked to global warming.”
And another “Dead zones: you have proof they aren’t?”
And of course there is her likely role in the firing of Oregon’s Climatologist at her OSU for being a skeptic.

John B

@ Anything is possible:
“How about a statement from Dr. Lubchenco explaining precisely why all this can’t be taken for granted?”
It can’t be taken for granted because there are those who call foul when they hear or read any scientific report of which they don’t like the political implications, real or imagined.

A story told by Rabbi Blue. One sabbath, as people were leaving his synagogue, a women came up to him, warmly shook his hand and said, “Thank you for your sermon – this week you sounded SO sincere.”

Bill Hunter

“to implement an “integrity” policy was to prevent the political interference into the scientific process”
Once the courts have it in their hands then corrupted scientific processes can be prosecuted no matter the source of political opinions or pressures. With freedom must come accountability and responsibility.
Controls over financial reporting which at one time suffered from the same problem with the same result for the public was accomplished via legislation and regulation.
There was little call for “academic freedom” in the interpretation of private enterprise operating results when what was really wanted was results the “common man” could reliably understand because of consistency in definition and standards of evaluation.
“Academic freedom” in the policy arena is a lot like the communist party member elitist greeting and expresses well what is wrong with communism. It allowed for government elitists to dictate to the people when what drives success is free people that have a real stake in outcomes.
What is really needed is some enforceable standards to avoid both top down and bottom up abuses equally and of course some rain.
There is no other option if science is to find a credible place in policy making.
Freedom of interpretation is inconsistent with the consistency of interpretation needed for a smooth democratic process to operate on the basis of science. Thus political interference is necessary. But what you want is for that interference to based upon clear standards and interpreted by a judiciary that holds everybody participating equally accountable.

Pat Frank

The whole enterprise is a bitter irony, from Holdren on down.
Buzz, the AGW scare has been a Progressive-Democratic war against science that has been more pernicious, more successful, more widespread, and far more destructive than anything ever accomplished by the Republican right.

Keith G

“NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.”
How are they going to reword that if Svensmark is proven correct? Maybe just tack on “and cosmic rays” right after the word “sun”?

Buzz Belleville,
You answered a question that wasn’t asked; misdirection. We want to see their their adjustment code and manuals. Everything. Our taxes paid for it.
People and organizations hide what they’re afraid to let others see. What ever happened to the transparency demanded by the scientific method?

Dave Springer

Well their integrity and so forth surely NEEDS enhancement.
You know what they say… the first step to fixing a problem is to first recognize that you have a problem.

Bob, Missoula

To Buzz Bellville,
Are you suggesting those commenting here should not be skeptical? My question to you is why?

Theo Goodwin

Buzz Belleville says:
May 23, 2011 at 1:50 pm
“What a sad commentary, not of NOAA, but of the responses thereto on this site.
Motivation for the directive (aimed at all scientific agencies in the federal govt, including NOAA, FDA, USDA and EPA) to implement an “integrity” policy was to prevent the political interference into the scientific process, as happened with the last administration rewriting scientific conclusions, especially as it relates to climate change.”
Telling Holdren, Hansen, and others to “shut up” and stop publishing their personal little communist wishes under the auspices of US government agencies is not interfering in the scientific process. Where those people are there is no scientific process.

1DandyTroll

I can only applaud NOAA for their willingness, but why all the fuzz? Science only need objectivity in its search for what’s what to boot and then objectively deliver all that what’s what without any undue fuzz, everything else is just bureaucracy, which is ok as long as it is void of all political influences (but of course that last part that is so communistic, apparently, takes some cojones and lack of greed to keep away from in some academical circles.)

Robert of Ottawa

Sorry, what does Obama and Holdren know about “scientific integrity”?
I could go on, but simply refering to these up front reveals NOAA to be a political animal.

Theo Goodwin

You cannot have integrity without first having humility. You cannot have humility and be unwilling to admit your mistakes. So, where is NOAA’s track record of admitting mistakes? As soon as it is published, I will take seriously their claim that they want to demonstrate integrity.

D Bonson

Actions speak louder than words.