There were other welcome signs: for example, the appointments of the highly respected John Holdren and Jane Lubchenco as, respectively, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Plus, Obama directed Holdren to draft a plan to improve scientific integrity, including communications, in the Executive Branch.
However, since then, reality has often fallen short of rhetoric. For example, Obama gave Holdren 120 days to complete the aforementioned plan. More than two years later, Brainard writes that the plan is still not in place.
CJR and ProPublica surveyed a random selection of environmental, science, and health journalists and asked them to rate Obama's administration in comparison to that of George W. Bush; although Obama received higher marks in nearly every category (including access to sources, ability to conduct interviews without 'minders', access to online database, and speed of processing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests), 30 percent gave Obama a "poor" or "very poor" grade on overall transparency and access to information, and 42 percent gave him merely a "fair" grade overall.