Science Integrity Policies - What will they look like?

Saturday, June 3, 2017 - 08:50

Science Integrity Policies for federal government departments - what are they, what do they do, and what has been promised?


Objective, sound, and robust science, evidence, and data are needed to inform policy. When government decisions are made on the best available evidence, our health, environment, economy, and communities improve.

Science Integrity Policies (SIPs) are policies aimed to ensure government science follows the protocols of objectivity, openness, replicability, transparency, and freedom from undue influence.



Last December, the Government and PIPSC negotiated the inclusion of government scientists’ right to speak in collective agreements. This means that if the government tries to muzzle scientists, they can file a grievance with their union.

Taking this further, these new agreements between the government and union require that each federal department with more than 10 researchers establish SIPs.



The government has agreed to create policies which:

  • Include the right for scientists to speak out publicly about science and their research

  • Guarantee the release of scientific information in a timely manner

  • Safeguard against scientific misconduct; and

  • Protect science from undue commercial, political, or client influence


We’ll work with partners, unions, and the government to provide innovative, progressive ideas of what these policies could look like, and take lessons learned from the US to inform best practices moving forward.



Kathleen Walsh

Director of Policy

Kathleen Walsh is driven by a passion for social innovation and finding ways to make policy more effective, inclusive, and based on robust evidence. She serves as Evidence for Democracy's Director of Policy, and was previously the organization's Interim Executive Director.