Science for Informed Decisions
Scientific and technological information, data, and evidence are central to the development and iterative improvement of sound policies, and to the delivery of equitable programs, across every area of government. Within BOEM – and the Department of the Interior (DOI) – the science used in bureau decisions must be of the highest quality and the result of rigorous scientific and scholarly process. Most importantly, it must be trustworthy.
BOEM relies on the best available science to help inform its policy decisions.
Part of this commitment includes ensuring the integrity and
quality of its science.
DOI and BOEM achieve scientific integrity by adhering to accepted standards, professional values, and practices of the relevant scientific community. Following these standards ensures objectivity, clarity, reproducibility, and utility of scientific and scholarly activities and assessments. This also helps prevent bias, fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, outside interference, censorship, and inadequate procedural and information security.
Peer Review Process
BOEM uses well-established scientific processes, including peer review, to ensure the integrity of its scientific or technological information. Numerous mechanisms are in place to identify and fulfill this requirement for scientific peer review. They include:
• External review of proposals,
• Review and critical input by Scientific Review Boards or Modeling Review Boards,
• Review and critical input by the Committee on Offshore Science and Assessment
• Scientific peer review of final reports, and/or
• Publication in peer-reviewed technical and/or scientific journals.
Peer review also helps ensure the quality of BOEM’s science. BOEM’s Environmental Studies Program follows the Office of Management and Budget guidelines for ensure the quality of scientific information, which includes following a systematic process of peer review and publishing a regularly updated Peer Review Agenda.
These measures, as well as stakeholder input, begin early in the development stages, and continue during the course of the projects. In addition, projects are regularly presented at internal BOEM meetings and special workshops facilitating both scientific peer review and public input.
Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity
In January 2021, President Biden issued a presidential memorandum, Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking, which established an Administration policy that evidence-based decisions guided by the best available science and data.
BOEM is committed to maintaining scientific integrity and supports the
Biden-Harris Administration’s policy to make evidence-based decisions
guided by the best available science and data.
The memorandum established an interagency Task Force on Scientific Integrity to conduct a thorough review of the effectiveness of agency scientific-integrity policies developed since the issuance of the Presidential Memorandum of March 9, 2009. As part of its duties, the Task Force issued a 30-day request for information to receive public input on ways to improve the effectiveness of Federal scientific integrity policies to enhance public trust in science. Upon conclusion of its review, the Task Force published a report, Protecting the Integrity of Government Science, which includes a description of agencies’ strengths and weaknesses regarding scientific-integrity policies, as well as a description of best practices and lessons learned.
Dr. Brad Blythe, BOEM's Scientific Integrity Officer, represents the bureau on the task force.
Protecting scientific integrity and restoring public trust requires help
from all Americans. Together, we can tackle our most pressing
challenges with solutions that are informed by science.