Selection of appropriate committee members, individually and collectively, is essential for the success of a study. All committee members serve as individual experts, not as representatives of organizations or interest groups. Each member is expected to contribute to the project on the basis of his or her own expertise and good judgment. A committee is not finally approved until a thorough balance and conflict of interest discussion is held at the first meeting, and any issues raised in that discussion or by the public are investigated and addressed.
Careful steps are taken to convene committees that meet the following criteria:
An appropriate range of expertise for the task.
A balance of perspectives
POINT OF VIEW IS DIFFERENT FROM CONFLICT OF INTEREST
A point of view or bias is not necessarily a conflict of interest. Committee members are expected to have points of view, and the National Academies attempt to balance these points of view in a way deemed appropriate for the task. Committee members are asked to consider respectfully the viewpoints of other members, to reflect their own views rather than be a representative of any organization, and to base their scientific findings and conclusions on the evidence. Each committee member has the right to issue a dissenting opinion to the report if he or she disagrees with the consensus of the other members.
Screened for conflicts of interest.
Specific steps in the committee selection and approval process are as follows: