Sunday, August 15, 2004

Science, the menace

Yahoo! News - Science, Politics Collide in Election Year: "Top Stories - AP

Science, Politics Collide in Election Year

Last November, President Bush gave physicist Richard Garwin a medal for his 'valuable scientific advice on important questions of national security.' Just three months later, Garwin signed a statement condemning the Bush administration for misusing, suppressing and distorting scientific advice. "
So far more than 4,000 scientists, including 48 Nobel prize winners, have put their names to the declaration.
The scientists' statement represents a new development in the uneasy relationship between science and politics. In the past, individual scientists and science organizations have occasionally piped up to oppose specific federal policies such as Ronald Reagan's Star Wars missile defense plan.


But signers of the declaration include scientists with ties to both Republican and Democratic administrations: Lewis Branscomb, a Harvard University professor, headed the federal Bureau of Standards in the Nixon administration. Russell Train was director of the Environmental Protection Agency under Presidents Nixon and Ford and supported George H. W. Bush during the 1988 presidential campaign. Physicists Neal Lane and John Gibbons were both science advisers to President Clinton.

I guess I really don't feel like talking about this after all. Just compare the administration's behavior on the science front to how it handles security/military intelligence for its political ambitions. I don't understand how undecided voters can't be really turned off by the very obvious pattern of disregard for intelligence to further the administration's ends. That seems a little more serious that the Bush administration's slur that Kerry is a "flip-flopper." I'm trying to think of things that would be more deleterious to our state's wellbeing than misusing/stifling/ignoring intelligence (security or scientific) for the sake of a few interested parties. Even if this hasn't been enough to offend on-the-fence voters, they should be picking up the pattern and maybe even realizing that in a second term it could get worse...