October 17, 2008 The Pump Handle 0Comment

I’m repeating myself here, but it’s for a good cause. At the Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy at George Washington University School of Public Health, we’ve launched a multi-part study to understand the current policies surrounding scientists’ work at government agencies and to create recommendations for policies that support strong science and the appropriate role of scientists and researchers within our health and environment agencies.

Many talented government scientists leaving the federal agencies that protect our health and environment, and one of the ways to attract and retain more scientists to these important positions is to ensure that the rights and responsibilities of government scientists are clearly delineated and protected. In addition to the problems of political interference with science that have made headlines in recent years, government scientists also face a unique set of challenges involving balancing their work as researchers, regulators, and applied scientists with their roles as employees of structured, hierarchical organizations.  

The major piece of the research is talking to actual government scientists – and that’s where we need your help. If you’re a current or former government scientist with an advanced degree and at least five years of experience working for a science-based health or environment federal agency, we’d like to interview you (more details below). Or, if you don’t meet that description but know people who do, we’d be grateful if you’d pass this information along to them, and/or direct them to this webpage.

Here are the official details:

We are seeking current and former government scientists to participate in interviews for the Scientists in Government project.  Interviews will be conducted through Fall 2008.
If you are a current or former government scientist (with an advanced degree and at least five years of experience working for a science-based health or environment federal agency), you can help us in our work to strengthen policies on science in the federal government.  Participation involves a phone or in-person interview of 1-2 hours.  Our study is approved by George Washington University’s IRB (#030823).

More information about the project can be found here. 
If you are interested in participating, please contact Ruth Long at 202-994-7993 or eohrwl [at] gwumc [dot]edu. If you know others who might be interested in participating, please send them to this webpage.