NASEM Establishes New Strategic Council
By: Sydney Sheffield
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) have established a new Strategic Council for Research Excellence, Integrity, and Trust. The assembly is charged with identifying, anticipating, and prioritizing key challenges to research ethics, integrity, and trustworthiness, formulating principles, policies, and best practices to address them, catalyzing progress by coordinating collaborative action, and breaking barriers to accelerate technological, cultural, or procedural solutions.
The NASEM are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to resolve complications and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. They operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
The Strategic Council will serve as a setting for multiple stakeholders to innovate the integrity, ethics, resilience, and effectiveness of the research enterprise while preparing for the challenges of tomorrow. “A number of organizations focus on components of the research enterprise, but no entity currently exists to ensure that the various policies and procedures are not redundant, or worse, inconsistent,” said NAS President Marcia McNutt. “Our new Strategic Council will provide a much-needed venue for multiple stakeholders to collectively advance the research enterprise across the sciences, engineering, and medicine while preparing it for future challenges.”
Three reports from the National Academies, Optimizing the Nation's Investment in Academic Research 2016, Fostering Integrity in Research 2017, and Reproducibility and Replicability in Science 2019, recommended the development of the Strategic Council to advance the quality and preserve the health and welfare of the research enterprise. The Council consists of 17 experts who have been appointed to serve as members.
The Strategic Council will hold a public meeting to gather evidence from the scientific community about research integrity, ethics, and trust. The goal of the Council is to develop an annual workshop to address specific topics. The Council’s first meeting will be on October 25, 2021, and will feature both open and closed sessions. The aim is to develop the Council’s mission and set the course for future work.