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JOINT BOARD-COUNCIL RESOLUTION: Membership on Federal Advisory Committees

Whereas the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) believes that it is essential that federal agencies receive scientific, technical and medical advice that represents a diversity of informed views regarding the need for, and evaluation of, research and regulation in order that research and regulatory decisions are based on the best available scientific knowledge and

Whereas the Federal Advisory Committee Act regards advisory committees to be a “useful and beneficial means of furnishing expert advice, ideas, and diverse opinions to the federal government” and requires advisory committees to be “fairly balanced in terms of points of view represented and like functions to be performed,” and

Whereas AAAS believes that the “fair balance” requirement pertains to competence, disciplinary focus, and political and/or institutional allegiance among other criteria, and

Whereas the AAAS believes the selection, removal or replacement of advisory committee members, or the disbanding of advisory committees, based on criteria extraneous either to the scientific, technical or medical issues or to the adequate representation of stakeholder interests, compromises the integrity of the process of receiving advice and is inappropriate;

Therefore, be it resolved that AAAS calls on the federal government to ensure that the process of obtaining scientific, technical and medical advice follows the letter and spirit of the Federal Advisory Committee Act and accords with democratic principles of governance.

Approved on 3/3/03 as a joint Board-Council resolution.

Original resolution brought forward by the Section on Anthropology and the Section on Societal Impacts of Science and Engineering