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Bipartisan Panel of Industry, NGO and Academic Experts Proposes New Rules for Science in Federal Regulation
Date:8/5/2009

Information designation, which limits public access to information, is legitimate but appears to be overused. Agencies should consider ways to ensure that the category is being used legitimately, such as requiring businesses to provide a brief but substantive justification for requesting protection.
  • Greater participation in, and improved quality of peer review. Federal agencies, universities and scientific journals need to experiment with ways to encourage more scientists to act as peer reviewers and to experiment with different peer review procedures to see what will improve the quality of reviews.
  • The report makes detailed recommendations about the formation and use of scientific advisory committees, including setting requirements for disclosure and determining and dealing with conflicts of interest and bias.

    The study also focuses on the evaluation of research studies by agencies and scientific advisory committees, and criteria such as peer review, conflicts of interest, sponsor control of research and publication, data availability, and risk and uncertainty.

    "The overall purpose of our report," said Kennedy, "is to inaugurate an era in which the science behind regulatory proposals will emerge from a more transparent and credible process. Disagreements over political ideology, economics and values that are at the heart of many regulatory disputes will be debated more openly and fully if these reforms are implemented. Science will be better protected from unwarranted attacks and political values will be more fully debated. Better regulatory policy will protect the public from both needless regulations and from needless dangers."

    Boehlert added, "The very fact that this ideologically diverse group was able to reach consensus on specific recommendations for reform shows that the time is ripe for these changes."

    The Science for Po
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    SOURCE Bipartisan Policy Center
    Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
    All rights reserved

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