2017 Annual Report on Scientific Integrity
EPA’s Scientific Integrity FY2017 Annual Report chronicles the activities and initiatives that supported the implementation of EPA's Scientific Integrity Policy in fiscal year (FY) 2017. Since February 2012, EPA's Scientific Integrity Policy has ensured that EPA’s decisions and policies are guided by robust high-quality and transparent science that is communicated openly and accurately. The Policy describes the elements that comprise a culture of scientific integrity including the public release of scientific information, consistent use of peer review, and professional development of scientists. While the Policy tasks the Scientific Integrity Official and the Deputy Scientific Integrity Officials with implementing the Scientific Integrity Policy, we are all responsible for upholding a culture of scientific integrity.
Scientific Integrity at EPA in FY 2017 – Highlights
Scientific Integrity Allegations
In FY2017, 22 allegations of a loss of scientific integrity were received. Sixteen allegations were also resolved as adjudicated-substantiated or adjudicated-dismissed. Summaries of these allegations and other statistics regarding allegations are provided in this section.
Scientific Integrity Annual Activities
In FY2017, the Scientific Integrity Official, the Scientific Integrity Program, and Scientific Integrity Committee continued to promote a culture of scientific integrity in all of EPA’s programs, offices, and regions. This was achieved by hosting two Agency-wide conversations on scientific integrity and working in close coordination with their partners throughout the Agency including the Office of General Counsel (OGC) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG). An overview of annual scientific integrity activities at EPA are featured in this section.
Scientific Integrity Accomplishments
FY2017 Scientific Integrity accomplishments across EPA’s programs, offices, and regions are showcased in this section.
Scientific Integrity Training and Training Evaluation
The Scientific Integrity Policy is most effective when agency employees are aware of its existence and its significance. In January 2017, scientific integrity training became a required element of the onboarding process for new EPA employees. Scientific integrity training sessions were also held for over 1,500 other employees in FY2017. The trainees were also asked to evaluate the program through a survey. These training sessions and evaluation results are discussed in this section.
Scientific Integrity Survey Results
Nearly 6,000 employees, from all offices and regions, responded to a survey that was sent to all EPA employees. The survey served as an assessment of the effectiveness of implementing the Scientific Integrity Policy through the first five years. Some of these answers and the scientific integrity initiatives that were created in response to the results are summarized in this section.