The bill provides a handful of clarifications with regard to whistleblowing etiquette across many parts of the federal government, but the most interesting part of the bill is a small set of addendums buried deep within the document that would give scientists several new rights. Quoted directly, the bill forbids:
1. any action that compromises the validity or accuracy of federally funded research or analysis;These two items would give scientists protection from tampering such as what was done in 2005 to global warming research.
2. the dissemination of false or misleading scientific, medical, or technical information;
Further, there are two additional items added after the bill's introduction into the house that could be even more important. Also forbade are:
3. any action that restricts or prevents an employee or any person performing federally funded research or analysis from publishing in peer-reviewed journals or other scientific publications or making oral presentations at professional society meetings or other meetings of their peers; andThese last two items would give scientists the rights to submit their research for peer-review and protect them from religious discrimination (important, but I think largely a non-issue in the scientific community).
4. any action that discriminates for or against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of religion
In my opinion the most significant part of the bill is the third part of the quoted text. This would potentially give scientists not just the opportunity but the right to publish their research. It could even apply to researchers that are under the black curtain of the Pentagon, and could open up a previously completely undisclosed amount of federal research not currently in the public space. I don't think that's the way it would be construed, but one can hope.
Via Ars Article
Link directly to the website with the bill (and the relevant section)