Organization and Structure

The panel believes that SIAB should be an independent board composed of practicing scientists, research administrators, individuals who have reported and handled incidents of misconduct, former government officials, and public figures who are not involved in the scientific enterprise. The board of SIAB should include individuals who are knowledgeable about one or more of the various scientific disciplines and should also be constructed to assure that the experiences of diverse institutions are taken into account in SIAB activities.

The governance structure should assure objectivity and independence, the critical ingredients for SIAB's success. Although it is important that SIAB maintain its credibility as an independent organization, it may be necessary to establish SIAB within an existing entity to provide institutional stability and to facilitate its interaction with a broad network of public and private officials. A suitable host organization should be considered to enable SIAB to develop the details of a charter, operating plan, and budget and to receive start-up funding. SIAB might or might not become part of the host organization once it began operation.

The Scientific Integrity Advisory Board could operate in the same manner as the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government, founded in 1988 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York as a nongovernmental organization to assess the process by which the government incorporates scientific and technical knowledge into policy and decision making. 1 The commission includes former government officials, eminent scientists, and private sector leaders as well as an advisory council. It organizes studies, issues interim reports, makes final recommendations, and evaluates the impact of its work.

A possible host for SIAB is the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), which has a congressional charter. The elected membership of NAPA includes many distinguished scientists and former public officials with significant public service experience. Other organizations that have experience in handling medical or other professional malpractice cases may also be potential host organizations.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) can play an important role in facilitating the creation of SIAB, although it should not be viewed as a potential host. The NAS can provide a neutral forum to review and evaluate the ultimate purposes of and potential sponsors for SIAB. But the NAS does not have the resources or experience that would be necessary to provide the types of operational and advisory services that should be an integral part of SIAB's structure.

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