White House Watch

White House Climate Official Violates Ethics Code Of Major Science Org


White House climate aide Jane Lubchenco was sanctioned by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) today for violating its Code of Conduct, Axios reported Tuesday.

Lubchenco, who is the deputy director for climate and environment at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, violated the NAS’ ethics policies prior to her involvement with the White House, Axios reported. Lubchenco edited a paper that was eventually retracted from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) due to technical errors in the analysis, as well as the fact that Lubchenco had previously worked with the scientists involved, one of whom was her brother-in-law, E&E News reported Tuesday.

“NAS members shall avoid those detrimental research practices that are clear violations of the fundamental tenets of research,” reads the NAS Code of Conduct Section 3, which Axios reports Lubchenco was held accountable for violating. “Members should be fair and objective peer reviewers, maintain confidentiality when requested, promptly move to correct the literature when errors in their own work are detected, include all deserving authors on publications, and give appropriate credit to prior work in citations.”

“I accept these sanctions for my error in judgment in editing a paper authored by some of my research collaborators — an error for which I have publicly stated my regret,” Lubchenco said, according to Axios.

The sanctions follow Republican criticism of Lubchenco and the Biden administration, with Reps. Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, Stephanie Bice of Oklahoma and Jay Obernolte of California requesting in a Feb. 10 letter that President Joe Biden “consider whether Dr. Lubchenco’s leading role in the Administration’s scientific integrity efforts undermines public confidence in future policy decisions.”

“As an editor at PNAS, Dr. Lubchenco demonstrated a clear disregard for rules meant to prevent conflicts of interest in publishing peer-reviewed studies,” the letter states. “Now, Dr. Lubchenco is playing a leading role in developing and overseeing this Administration’s best practices for scientific integrity. Her violation of one of the core tenets of scientific integrity makes her current leadership role very troubling.”

At the time of publication, Lubchenco had not been relieved of her position in the Biden administration. Lubchenco remained active on Twitter promoting the Biden administration’s policy agenda Tuesday afternoon.

Neither the NAS nor the White House responded to a Daily caller News Foundation request for comment.

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