In an interview yesterday with ScienceInsider and Nature, newly confirmed National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator Jane Lubchenco made little news but did reiterate her concern about maintaining high standards for scientific openness and fairness at the oceans' agency. Critics say the previous Administration showed neither with regard to studying hurricanes and global warming. Thanks to Alex Witze of Nature for transcribing the interview.
Was there a big problem in terms of scientists being muzzled in the last administration?
It's probably hard to know for sure. We've all heard stories. I was not on the inside of NOAA at the time. What I can tell you is that as we move forward science will be respected; it will not be muzzled.
It will not be distorted. And scientists will be free to share their scientific findings whether they fit any preconceived policy or not. One of the things I intend to do soon is to actually examine the policies and practices within the agency and review them. As you know, the president has charged his science adviser and director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, John Holdren, with framing guidelines across the agencies, so we will be working closely with John in making sure that our own policies within NOAA are consistent with and complementary to the inter-agency policies. I intend to start reaching out to the scientists within as well as outside NOAA to help review and revise our policies.