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Tonko’s Scientific Integrity Act Advances with Bipartisan Support

House Science Committee approves good government bill by vote of 25-6, advances to vote by full House

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Washington, October 17, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTON—Congressman Paul D. Tonko cheered the advance of his Scientific Integrity Act to the House floor on strong bipartisan footing following a 25-6 vote of the House Science, Space & Technology Committee today. Tonko’s legislation, which carries the names of 226 House cosponsors, sets baseline standards for scientific integrity policies at federal agencies with the purpose of preventing political and special interests from interfering with federal or federally-funded research or scientific publication. More than 20 federal agencies currently have some form of scientific integrity policy that would be made stronger under this bill.

"As an engineer, I have always looked to science to inform the work I do and to shape our choices as policymakers and public servants,” said Congressman Tonko. “At its heart, science doesn’t serve political power—it just tries to tell us the truth. In contrast, when we allow political power to interfere with our public science, the result is lost rights and freedoms, lost wages to medical bills, burned or flooded homes, lost years from our lives and the irreplaceable loss of loves ones. These are the consequences that scientific integrity policies exist to prevent. I have long believed there should be room for bipartisan action that strengthens these public standards, and I am pleased to say that our Science Committee proved me right today. Thank you to all who have voiced their support for our Scientific Integrity Act over the years. I will be counting on you once again as this smart, good governance legislation advances for a vote by the full House of Representatives."

The Scientific Integrity Act:

  1. Requires federal agencies that fund or direct public science to establish & maintain clear scientific integrity principles.
  2. Formalizes these policies and strengthens them with the force of law; clarifies that science should determine policy, free from inappropriate politics, ideology, or financial conflicts of interest.
  3. Holds public scientists to the highest standards while guaranteeing their rights and protections under the law.

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