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Science Advisor Programs

Approaches for Expressing and Resolving Differing Scientific Opinions

EPA expects and encourages all employees to offer and welcome differing scientific opinions as a legitimate and necessary part of the scientific process.

Scientific products and decisions are strengthened by considering all pertinent evidence and exploring various plausible explanations of that evidence. Vigorous internal discussion of different points of view helps to anticipate counter-arguments and alternative positions that could arise during public comment, peer review, and litigation. This process of challenging and improving ideas helps to guard against inadequate science and flawed analyses. The Differing Scientific Opinions document recommends a progression of approaches that employees and managers can use to encourage the expression and satisfactory resolution of differing scientific opinions.

EPA’s Scientific Integrity Policy states that the policy “extends whistleblower protections to all EPA employees who uncover or report allegations of scientific and research misconduct, or who express a differing scientific opinion, from retaliation or other punitive actions." 

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