CPSU has contacted the Minister for Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans, seeking the Government's support for a Science Integrity Charter in the public sector.
The text of the letter appears below.
18 September 2012
Senator the Hon Chris Evans
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research
PO Box 6100
CANBERRA ACT 2600
SCIENCE INTEGRITY CHARTER FOR THE FEDERAL PUBLIC SECTOR
The Community and Public Sector Union (PSU Group) is leading a campaign to seek your support to develop and implement a Science Integrity Charter for the Federal Public Sector before the 2013 Federal Election.
Science, innovation and research are fundamental to the economic, environmental and social needs and aspirations of the Australian community. The Federal Public Sector is trusted to discover, apply and communicate science in a frank and fearless manner, without political or commercial interference.
Unfortunately, the integrity of the important work of many of our members has been attacked, including by some elected representatives. These attacks reduce trust in science in the community and devalue the independence of our public institutions.
We believe a Science Integrity Charter for the Federal Public Sector will help to build trust and protect and advance public sector science. It will ensure that the best research outcomes are achieved and that scientific advice is independent and verifiable.
A Charter would establish clear and consistent principles for all our organisations and staff in the Federal Public Sector involved in science, research and innovation. It would enable organisations to incorporate the principles into policies and procedures and support staff in implementing them.
The CPSU is absolutely committed to this campaign. We launched it at our National Leaders Conference in August and over 500 leaders have already signed a petition to support a Charter. We will be taking the petition into all science workplaces in the Federal Public Sector during September and October and are anticipating widespread support from staff.
We provided an initial brief to your office as well as the Chief Scientist. We anticipate full support from the science community, including Science and Technology Australia. We have written to all heads of agencies and departments at AIMS, ANSTO, the Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO, DAFF, DISSR, DSTO, Geoscience Australia, GBRMPA and the APSC.
We request your commitment to developing and implementing this initiative with the CPSU. The time has come for the importance of science integrity to be highlighted in Australia. A Charter of Science Integrity for the Federal Public Sector will be a significant step forward.