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Preeminent Scientists Protest Bush Administration's Misuse of Science

Nobel Laureates, National Medal of Science Recipients, and Other Leading Researchers Call for End to Scientific Abuses

 

February 18, 2004

 

Washington, D.C.?Today, more than 60 leading scientists?including Nobel laureates, leading medical experts, former federal agency directors and university chairs and presidents?issued a statement calling for regulatory and legislative action to restore scientific integrity to federal policymaking. According to the scientists, the Bush administration has, among other abuses, suppressed and distorted scientific analysis from federal agencies, and taken actions that have undermined the quality of scientific advisory panels.

?Across a broad range of issues, the administration has undermined the quality of the scientific advisory system and the morale of the government?s outstanding scientific personnel,? said Dr. Kurt Gottfried, emeritus professor of physics at Cornell University and Chairman of the Union of Concerned Scientists. ?Whether the issue is lead paint, clean air or climate change, this behavior has serious consequences for all Americans.?

 

?Science, to quote President Bush's father, the former president, relies on freedom of inquiry and objectivity,? said Russell Train, head of the Environmental Protection Agency under Nixon and Ford, who joined the scientists in calling for action. ?But this administration has obstructed that freedom and distorted that objectivity in ways that were unheard of in any previous administration.?

 

The statement notes that while scientific input to the government is rarely the only factor in public policy decisions, this input should be weighed from an objective and impartial perspective. However, the administration of George W. Bush has disregarded this principle.

 

?The Earth system follows laws which scientists strive to understand,? said Dr. F. Sherwood Rowland a Nobel laureate in chemistry. ?The public deserves rational decisionmaking based on the best scientific advice about what is likely to happen, not what political entities might wish to happen.?

 

?We are not simply raising warning flags about an academic subject of interest only to scientists and doctors,? said Dr. Neal Lane, a former director of the National Science Foundation and a former Presidential Science Advisor. ?In case after case, scientific input to policymaking is being censored and distorted. This will have serious consequences for public health.?

In conjunction with the statement, the Union of Concerned Scientists today released a report Scientific Integrity in Policymaking that investigates numerous allegations in the scientists? statement involving censorship and political interference with independent scientific inquiry at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Interior and Defense.

 

One example cited in the statement and report involves the suppression of an EPA study that found the bipartisan Senate Clear Air bill would do more to reduce mercury contamination in fish and prevent more deaths than the administration's proposed Clear Skies Act. ?This is akin to the White House directing the National Weather Service to alter a hurricane forecast because they want everyone to think we have clear skies ahead,? said Kevin Knobloch, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists ?The hurricane is still coming, but without factual information no one will be ready for it.?

 

Comparing President Bush with his father, George H.W. Bush and former president Richard M. Nixon, the statement warned that had these former presidents similarly dismissed science in favor of political ends, over 200,000 deaths and millions of respiratory and cardiovascular disease cases would not have been prevented with the signing of the original Clean Air Act and the 1990 amendments to that Act.

 

The statement demands that the Bush administration?s ?distortion of scientific knowledge for partisan political ends must cease? and calls for Congressional oversight hearings, guaranteed public access to government scientific studies and other measures to prevent such abuses in the future. The statement further calls on the scientific, engineering and medical communities to work together to reestablish scientific integrity in the policymaking process.

 

________________________________________________________________

Among the statement signers are:

 

Philip W. Anderson*?

David Baltimore*?

Paul Berg*?

Lewis Branscomb

Thomas Eisner*

Jerome Friedman?

Richard Garwin*

Walter Kohn*?

Neal Lane

Leon Lederman*?

Mario Molina?

W.H.K. Panofsky*

F. Sherwood Rowland?

J. Robert Schrieffer*?

Richard Smalley?

Harold E. Varmus?

Steven Weinberg*?

E.O Wilson*

 

* National Medal of Science

? Nobel laureate

LINK

 

WTF! :mad : :blink: :(

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Every administration, dem or rep distorts science to its own ends. This is nothing new...

What a bunch of wack-jobs.

 

If you wish to seek out the most liberal, hairbrained, out of context bunch of tree hugging alarmists around look no farther than your local college campus.

 

Scientists and other member of academia are fruit loops. I found particulary humorous the passage comparing Mercury levels in fish and clean air to hurricanes. Puhleaze. Stop screaming that the sky is falling.

 

Seriously, it's great for college admistrations and scientists to challenge young minds, interject contrary thought, experiement and all that, but please stay out of the grown-up world where real decisions that have practical ramnifications are made.

 

The statement notes that while scientific input to the government is rarely the only factor in public policy decisions, this input should be weighed from an objective and impartial perspective.

 

Yeah, right. Doesn't it sem a little weird to politicize your claim that you are not political?

 

Crap.

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Every administration, dem or rep distorts science to its own ends.? This is nothing new...

What a bunch of wack-jobs.

 

If you wish to seek out the most liberal, hairbrained, out of context bunch of tree hugging alarmists around look no farther than your local college campus.

 

Scientists and other member of academia are fruit loops. I found particulary humorous the passage comparing Mercury levels in fish and clean air to hurricanes. Puhleaze. Stop screaming that the sky is falling.

 

Seriously, it's great for college admistrations and scientists to challenge young minds, interject contrary thought, experiement and all that, but please stay out of the grown-up world where real decisions that have practical ramnifications are made.

 

The statement notes that while scientific input to the government is rarely the only factor in public policy decisions, this input should be weighed from an objective and impartial perspective.

 

Yeah, right. Doesn't it sem a little weird to politicize your claim that you are not political?

 

Crap. This might be the craziest thing I've ever read... You've characterized a whole lot of people based on the vocal minority.

 

Lord knows we should quell the educated people. Just what America, perhaps even the world, needs.

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I'm sorry, I made a mistake. The academic world has always been noted historically as a bastion of moderate thought.

 

They are fruit loops. Think back to all the college profs you had. Imagine seeing them at the movies, etc... without knowing that they were a professor. You'd think they were fruit loops.

 

With few exceptions, it takes a certain kind of personality to delve into the world of academia and never come back out. Not saying it's a bad thing, but it definitiely doesn't grant them any poltical credibility.

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Every administration, dem or rep distorts science to its own ends.? This is nothing new...

What a bunch of wack-jobs.

 

If you wish to seek out the most liberal, hairbrained, out of context bunch of tree hugging alarmists around look no farther than your local college campus.

 

Scientists and other member of academia are fruit loops. I found particulary humorous the passage comparing Mercury levels in fish and clean air to hurricanes. Puhleaze. Stop screaming that the sky is falling.

 

Seriously, it's great for college admistrations and scientists to challenge young minds, interject contrary thought, experiement and all that, but please stay out of the grown-up world where real decisions that have practical ramnifications are made.

 

The statement notes that while scientific input to the government is rarely the only factor in public policy decisions, this input should be weighed from an objective and impartial perspective.

 

Yeah, right. Doesn't it sem a little weird to politicize your claim that you are not political?

 

Crap. This might be the craziest thing I've ever read... You've characterized a whole lot of people based on the vocal minority.

 

Lord knows we should quell the educated people. Just what America, perhaps even the world, needs. well said batman.

 

 

I dont need dat dem der scientist "fruitloop" to tell me what to do! Lets rounderm up and lynch up!

 

You realize how silly you sound fish fillet?

 

Lets also not forgot that economists are generally conservative. But you dont here liberals calling them fruitloops. In fact a lot of their policies have been implemented at the cost of liberal thought.

 

But wait, they dont agree with me. I hate em!

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Every administration, dem or rep distorts science to its own ends. This is nothing new...

What a bunch of wack-jobs.

 

If you wish to seek out the most liberal, hairbrained, out of context bunch of tree hugging alarmists around look no farther than your local college campus.

 

Scientists and other member of academia are fruit loops. I found particulary humorous the passage comparing Mercury levels in fish and clean air to hurricanes. Puhleaze. Stop screaming that the sky is falling.

 

Seriously, it's great for college admistrations and scientists to challenge young minds, interject contrary thought, experiement and all that, but please stay out of the grown-up world where real decisions that have practical ramnifications are made.

 

The statement notes that while scientific input to the government is rarely the only factor in public policy decisions, this input should be weighed from an objective and impartial perspective.

 

Yeah, right. Doesn't it sem a little weird to politicize your claim that you are not political?

 

Crap. This might be the craziest thing I've ever read... You've characterized a whole lot of people based on the vocal minority.

 

Lord knows we should quell the educated people. Just what America, perhaps even the world, needs. well said batman.

 

 

I dont need dat dem der scientist "fruitloop" to tell me what to do! Lets rounderm up and lynch up!

 

You realize how silly you sound fish fillet?

 

Lets also not forgot that economists are generally conservative. But you dont here liberals calling them fruitloops. In fact a lot of their policies have been implemented at the cost of liberal thought.

 

But wait, they dont agree with me. I hate em! rack that.

 

 

 

some are applyign a double standard.

 

 

not a shock.

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I dunno, a month or so ago some university study came out that said watching the Simpsons could lead to unhealthy eating habits. My love of three week-old sub sandwiches died after that. I still drink 12 beers a day, though, like God intended.

 

I partially agree with Tonyi. Over the last century, there has been a rise in the "expert culture". People fawn over scientists/experts and their findings without using the same kind of critical questioning that is supposedly the foundation of rational thought. A PhD has the ability to make people go OOH and AHH. It doesn't mean its' holder has all the answers. And also, these petition guys are not government officials. They are only looking at one side of the coin - which proposal will clean up more air. I see nothing about the proposed costs, etc..... "Political Ends" are often more than just backroom deals.

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Lord knows we should quell the educated people.

Educated does not imply scientifically impartial and without agenda. There's been a HUGE amount of subsequently debunked "junk science" come out of academia because some scientist had a political agenda that overrode their scientific objectivity.

 

Years ago it used to be that the public could have some measure of trust in academia when it made various recommendations based on "scientific research". Alas, those days are gone.

 

A prudent citizen would trust none of them anymore without doing their own investigation into methods (often faulty), controls (frequently nonexistant), sample sizes (often so small as to make results meaningless), etc, etc.

 

You can't suppress them, but it would be foolish to blindly trust them. And I agree with this, but for every NUTTY professor who's changing his data to fir his political bias (which is unethical) I would GUESS there would be 2-3, hell 5-10 MORE guy who are out in the field and doing their job without any note of which side is going to use their data. They're just trying to figure something out based on the data at their disposal.

 

And I've seen my professors at the movies all the time. There are some where it's like, "Hey, what's he doing here!" But, it's not THAT weird. I thought it was weird in High School to see my teachers were normal people in lives, but I wagot over it pretty quickly after a few times.

 

And, as a student working towards going to grad school in the hopes of becoming a professor, I'm just not happy that you would characterize a group of people like this. It borders on negative stereotyping.

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Oh and one last thing: any scientist worth his salt knows his job is "objective observation." Anyone not viewing data objectively is either A) not technically a scientist (no matter WHAT their job description is) or B) isn't doing their job.

 

I should know. I'm Batman and I'm a scientist.

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Guest Juanky

I'm sorry, but I have a problem taking any "protests" in leap years seriously. Maybe if this was made two years ago, then it would have some basis. I'm automatically inclined to believe something like this is just a ploy by a group to get a certain candidate elected, no matter which party happens to be in office.

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Oh and one last thing: any scientist worth his salt knows his job is "objective observation." Anyone not viewing data objectively is either A) not technically a scientist (no matter WHAT their job description is) or B) isn't doing their job.

 

I should know. I'm Batman and I'm a scientist.

And how objective do you think scientists really are when it comes to governmental advising?

 

I mean, where does most of the money (ie grants, fellowships, etc...) come from?

 

Science in most cases is inherently conflicted. And empiricism aside, objectivity should be questioned when it comes to conflicted science.

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I'm sorry, I made a mistake. The academic world has always been noted historically as a bastion of moderate thought.

 

They are fruit loops. Think back to all the college profs you had. Imagine seeing them at the movies, etc... without knowing that they were a professor. You'd think they were fruit loops.

 

With few exceptions, it takes a certain kind of personality to delve into the world of academia and never come back out. Not saying it's a bad thing, but it definitiely doesn't grant them any poltical credibility.

You must be one of the "those who can't do, teach" people.

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I plan on becoming a professor, but I do know that most of the professors I have are not only opinionated, but very much so politically, regardless of their field. Furthermore, because they are so smart and so arrogant that they choose academia (knowledge itself) as the work that puts food on their table, they can justify anything in their minds to fit their politics.

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You must be one of the "those who can't do, teach" people.

The best profs I had as an undergrad and in grad school were those who had worked on the outside in the past, or were still working on the outside and teaching night classes. The best of the best (a real hardass) had spent 15 years in the old Lockheed "skunkworks" and came back to academia to work on a PhD and was teaching classes at the same time.

 

The worst, were invariably "lifer" academics. And I'll bet those "rules" apply to everybody.

 

Broad, generalized statements based on one man's experience. That being said, here's some of my own:

 

I've had good and bad prof's that were "lifers," same goes for those who had jobs outside of the academic community and who taught because they "love it."

 

And yes, objectivity should be considered when it comes to politics and science. It's only when politics become involved things seem to get muddled.

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Broad, generalized statements based on one man's experience.

Experience tends to form our opinions on things (unless we're dumb enough to allow ourselves to be spoon fed the "correct" opinion by the media).

 

Experience is what allows us to stand up and proclaim foul when some cockeye notion is put forth as gospel.

 

Experience is what allows us to not repeat the same mistakes over and over again expecting different results. Huh, so then by your rational according to MY experience it's more fun to smoke pot and watch movies than to work/go to school so maybe I should do that?

 

In the words of the ODB: "N*gga' PLEASE!"

 

Give me a break. Your manipulation of language has failed you. Oh, well, I could argue with you until you're blue in the face and you'll cotninue to backtrack and squirm.

 

Experience alone doesn't allow you to stop making mistakes, I'd call that wisdom, learnin' or EDUCATION. AH. Wait asecond, we've deduced all acadamians are dumbasses, I forgot! (snaps fingers)

 

Guess we're darned if we do and darned if we don't.

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Let me tell you what's going to happen in 100 years if people like Fish Fillet keep thinking the way they do:

Scientists and other member of academia are fruit loops.

 

Because few give credit to scientists and use their money to coerce scientists into getting "evidence" to support their political agenda, the scientific field will lose respect and credibility in America (which we can already see from Mr. Know-it-all Fish Fillet). Fewer and fewer scientists and true scientific research will come out of America, giving the advantage to growing and eager nations like China, Russia and the Asian tigers. It is already happening. Our major nitch has been "technology" and scientific research; no longer the case.... So as I see it, if you keep discrediting and discouraging our scientists from doing what they were born and trained to do, we might as well say goodbye to our standing as the most advanced nation in the world.

 

:pullhair I never thought I'd see the day a laureate scientist would be qualified as a "fruit loop" while someone who has zero brains is our President... Oh the irony!

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