White House of Science Ethics, Do as I Say, Not as I Do.
January 12, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Accountability Foundation (AAF) sent letters to the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) calling for the immediate removal of Jane Lubchenco from her post as the Deputy Director for Climate and Environment, and for an investigation into her previous ethical failings and conflict of interest violations.
“Anyone who is in charge of our federal government’s science and technology policy should be a good steward of scientific integrity and ethical standards,” AAF Founder Tom Jones said. “Instead, Jane Lubchenco’s previous conflict of interest and ethical violations should be immediately disqualifying for any role in our government.”
Yesterday, Lubchenco co-authored a piece on Science.org lecturing readers on scientific integrity and criticizing the former Trump administration for their scientific standards. However, while there is no evidence that the Trump administration violated scientific integrity standards or protocols, Lubchenco has a checkered past herself within the scientific community.
AAF discovered serious violations in Lubchenco’s previous peer review efforts and conflict of interest violations. In reviewing a paper for the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science (PNAS), Lubchenco engaged in a stunning failure to be a fair and objective peer reviewer, violated the NAS Code of Conduct, and even accepted clearly dishonest science.
Lubchenco’s shortcomings in this peer review process were so extreme that PNAS editors were recently forced to take the extreme step of retracting an article for conflict of interest. In fact, Lubchenco should have never been reviewing the article for approval because one of the authors is her brother-in-law, and she is a colleague and co-writer with him and other authors on the paper.
Not only did AAF send a letter to the OSTP, but they also called for NAS to investigate the conflict of interest violations and potentially expel Lubchenco based on their findings.