Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Bush Science

If you value science over political ideologies please note how the Bush administration has dealt with science issues:
# Suppressing an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study that found that a Senate bill would do more than a White House-sponsored bill to reduce mercury contamination in fish.

# Demanding that EPA remove a section of a report on climate change. This came about after administration officials suggested adjustments to emphasize the scientific uncertainties, a move that agency scientists resisted.

# Posting information on government Web sites despite objections from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) staff. For example, according to former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services Patrick Fagan, the National Cancer Institute posted on its Web site that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer. The information was later removed.

# Placing controversial people in scientific positions. For example, the president recommended that the Food and Drug Administration's Reproductive Health Advisory Committee be chaired by obstetrician-gynecologist W. David Hager, who has written that scripture readings can ease premenstrual syndrome. Hager did not become chair, but he was appointed to the panel.

# Stacking scientific advisory panels by eliminating people who supported Bush's 2000 election rivals (according to testimony taken during a hearing held by Democrats on the House Science Committee), or picking others who lacked scientific credentials, but who supported the president's views.


Dustin said...

The thing that bothers me about this is that it based around Democrat science, there was multiple references to D's talking about the bad things Bush has done and the "report" was done by a bunch of greens( Union of Concerned Scientists). Yet this claims to be science, this kind of article belongs on the editorial page not in a science journal. Just looking at the first one I can see why Bush would go the direction that he says, the effected areas are isolated and could be dealt with the state, instead he goes for a long term goal that is even more environmentally friendly. Leaving state groups to go after the gross violators. The problem that the green side has is that their "scientists" have been spelling out doom and gloom for over 20 years, nothing has come to pass, you should know this with all of the great scientist coverage the Nuke industry gets. Remember that these publications are to sell things, and dry boring stuff doesn't sell but you cry of injustice and certain doom and people buy.

Kendall Miller said...

I've never heard of Democrat science before. Bad science and good science, yes, but Democrat science... One thing that science has going for it is that the results are subject to trial in the court of objective reality. But objective reality can be complex and subtle so it is tempting to abandon it in favor of the alternative of some form of subjective reality that has more simplistic explanations for things.

This pressure by the White House to manipulate the dissemmination of studies conducted in good faith is really something new to this administration. If the studies are flawed, who is in the best position to judge? Political ideologues or scientific peers?

If it is difficult to find scientists with sufficient "chops" to man the advisory panels who also share the administration's ideology, there may be a reason.