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Full Text of this Amendment
At the appropriate place, insert the following:
SEC. __X. PROTECTION OF SCIENTIFIC CREDIBILITY, INTEGRITY, AND COMMUNICATION.
(a) Short Title.--This section may be cited as the ``Protect Science Act of 2008''.
(b) Definitions.--In this section:
(1) AGENCY.--The term ``agency'' has the meaning given under section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code.
(2) SCIENTIFIC.--The term ``scientific'' means relating to the natural, physical, environmental, earth, ocean, climate, atmospheric, mathematical, medical, or social sciences or engineering.
(c) Findings and Purpose.--
(1) FINDINGS.--Congress finds the following:
(A) Scientific research and innovation is a principal component to American prosperity.
(B) There have been numerous cases where Federal scientific studies and reports have been altered by political appointees and Federal employees to misrepresent or omit information.
(C) Political interference has also resulted in--
(i) the censorship of scientific information and documents requested by Congress;
(ii) the delayed release of Government science reports; and
(iii) the denial of media access to scientific researchers.
(D) Such political interference with science in the Federal agencies undermines the credibility, integrity, and consistency of the United States Government.
(2) PURPOSE.--The purpose of this section is to protect scientific credibility, integrity, and communication in research and policymaking.
(d) Prohibition of Political Interference With Science.--
(1) IN GENERAL.--Subchapter V of chapter 73 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:``§7354. Interference with science
``(a) Definitions.--In this section--
``(1) the term `censorship' means improper prevention of the dissemination of valid and nonclassified scientific findings;
``(2) the term `scientific' means relating to the natural, physical, environmental, earth, ocean, climate, atmospheric, mathematical, medical, or social sciences or engineering; and
``(3) the term `tampering' means improperly altering or obstructing so as to substantially distort, or directing others to do so.
``(b) In General.--An employee may not engage in any of the following:
``(1) Tampering with the conduct or findings of federally funded scientific research or analysis.
``(2) Censorship of findings of federally funded scientific research or analysis.
``(3) Directing the dissemination of scientific information known by the directing employee to be false or misleading.''.
(2) TECHNICAL AND CONFORMING AMENDMENT.--The table of sections for chapter 73 of title 5, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 7353 the following:
``7354. Interference with science.''.
(e) Publication Requirement Relating to Scientific Studies and Reports.--
(1) DEFINITION.--In this subsection, the term ``political appointee'' means an individual who holds a position that--
(A) requires appointment by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate;
(B) is within the Executive Office of the President;
(C) is on the Executive Schedule under subchapter II of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code;
(D) is a Senior Executive Service position as defined under section 3132 (2) of title 5, United States Code, and not a career reserved position as defined under paragraph (8) of that section; or
(E) is in the executive branch of the Government of a confidential or policy-determining character under schedule C of subpart C of part 213 of title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(A) IN GENERAL.--Not later than 48 hours after an agency publishes a scientific study or report, including a summary, synthesis, or analysis of a scientific study or report, that has been modified to incorporate oral or written comments by a political appointee that change the force, meaning, emphasis, conclusions, findings, or recommendations of the scientific or technical component of the study or report, the head of that agency shall--
(i) make available on a departmental or agency website, and on a public docket, if any, that is accessible by the public--
(I) the final version by the principal scientific investigators before review;
(II) the final version as published by the agency; and
(III) a version making a comparison of the versions described under subclauses (I) and (II), that identifies--
(aa) any modifications; and
(bb) the text making those modifications;
(ii) identify any political appointee who made those comments; and
(iii) provide uniform resource locator links on that website to both versions and related publications.
(B) PRINTED PUBLICATIONS.--The head of each agency shall ensure that the printed publication of any summary, synthesis, or analysis of a scientific study or report described under subparagraph (A) shall include a reference to the website described under that paragraph.
(3) FORMAT AND EASE OF COMPARISON.--The versions of any study or report described under paragraph (2) shall be made available--
(A) in a format that is generally available to the public; and
(B) in the same format and accessible on the same page with equal prominence, or in any other manner that facilitates comparison of the 2 versions.
(f) State of Scientific Integrity Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, and each year thereafter, the Comptroller General shall submit a report to Congress on compliance with the requirements of section 7354 of title 5, United States Code, (as added by subsection (d) of this section) and section (e) of this section.
(As printed in the Congressional Record for the Senate on Jun 4, 2008.)