Lucas frustrated over White House responses to his requests

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One would have to possibly forgive Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas if he doesn’t have kind things to say about the way the Biden White House communicates with him. It doesn’t.

Rep. Lucas, chairman of the U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee has run into yet another stone wall by the Biden administration as the congressman seeks answers about scientific integrity violations by a high-level White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Lucas sent a third request of Dr. Arati Prabhakar, Director of the OSTP to answer questions about what happened and why it occurred. The first letter was sent in February of 2022 and the second was written in September of last year—both were not answered.

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What’s Lucas investigating? His questions focus on Dr. Jane Lubchenco, who serves as the Deputy Director for Climate and Environment at OSTP, and has played a leading role in developing the Administration’s interagency guidance on “Protecting the Integrity of Government Science.” She was found to have violated long-established principles of scientific integrity while in her role as an editor for the Proceedings for the National Academy of Science (PNAS).

Dr. Lubchenco ignored rules meant to prevent conflicts of interest and reviewed, edited, and published a flawed article. Dr. Lubchenco served as the editor for that now-retracted article, which was co-authored by her brother-in-law, and she needed its conclusions published to validate her own work. Lubchenco was eventually sanctioned by the National Academies of Science for her transgressions.

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“Dr. Lubchenco continues to lead federal science policy efforts and represents the United States on the international stage, despite being barred from participating in the activities of a renowned scientific organization,” Lucas wrote.

Lucas is concerned because he contends Dr. Lubchenco’s continued role and recent publications affecting scientific integrity policy across the federal government “are inherently hypocritical in light of her own scientific integrity violations, as confirmed by the NAS.”

The Republican Congressman called the pattern of ignoring congressional requests and oversight alarming, “especially in the wake of concerns regarding the leadership and culture of the OSTP after former Director Eric Lander resigned following a White House investigation that found ‘credible evidence of violations of the [Executive Office of the President’s] Safe and Respectful Workplace Policy,’ as well as ‘bullying’ and ‘disrespectful interactions with staff.’”

The full letter is available here.