The Null Device

Of the people, for the people, by the people

Accusations have emerged that the Bush administration has persistently manipulated scientific data to suit its ideology. The administration has "manipulated the scientific process and distorted or suppressed scientific findings" on issues ranging from oil drilling in Antarctica and global warming to sex education in schools and the planned missile defense programme, and stacked boards with unqualified officials or industry representatives:
''The administration's political interference with science has led to misleading statements by the president, inaccurate responses to Congress, altered Web sites, suppressed agency reports, erroneous international communications and the gagging of scientists,'' the report added.

A Whitehouse spokesman has dismissed the report.

(Mitch, as a scientist and Debunker of Liberal Hysteria, what is your verdict?)

There are 6 comments on "Of the people, for the people, by the people":

Posted by: mitch http:// Tue Aug 12 11:13:40 2003

It does seem that all the examples given have to do with media and policy, rather than science per se. But I'm going to reserve judgement for a while. Let's see if Congress's official Committee on Science has anything to say in response, for example. This report comes from the "minority office" of the Committee on Government Reform, which would mean the Democratic members of that committee. I see that the guy behind this report, Henry Waxman, has taken the lead against the Bush administration a number of times before - on Enron, Halliburton, politicized intelligence. He's described as a "Hollywood Democrat" with media connections. So whatever the merit of the accusations, you can safely say that he's somewhere near the summit of the Vast Liberal Conspiracy.

Posted by: Hobbes http:// Tue Aug 12 18:07:42 2003

Politicians and political advocates (liberal or conservative) are often guilty of ignoring or distorting scientific evidence. The most common way this happens is a failure to understand how science works to acheive concensus. On almost any topic with more than a few papers, you will find ones with directly contradictory results, especailly in diciplines that are "softer" like nutrition and medicine, where there are few well estabilished general theories the predict outcomes (such as quantum mechanics and relativity in physics). What happens is that scientists work to resolve these differences by understanding the differences and flaws in various experements and eventually most of the scientific community comes to a concensus on what all the results mean. Too often, various political advocacy groups promote subsets of the body of research that support their desired policy, and politicians interpret this as "no conclusive evidence either way" and use that as an excuse to ignore it. cf. global warming, a top

Posted by: gjw Wed Aug 13 01:19:27 2003

Yeah, "global warming's" the most distorted one. For a start, people should concentrate on the "climate change" aspect more than the "global warming". The big counter-claim at the moment is that increased atmospheric sulphur compounds could result in "global cooling" - this is supposed to counter the "warming" so we don't have to worry about anything and can keep up the spiraling atmospheric CO2 levels. Anyone with a grain of sense will see that (a) the odds of "cooling" exactly countering "warming" are slight, and (b) "global cooling" ain't such a good prospect either, dontcha think? You have indulge in mental gymnastics to ignore climate change, you only have to understand the simplest physics to accept it's reality.

Posted by: Graham Wed Aug 13 09:18:12 2003

Or, if you're in Europe, just look out the window at the moment.

Posted by: acb Wed Aug 13 14:52:54 2003

That'll teach those cheese-eating surrender monkeys. God Bless America! *revs oversized SUV*

Posted by: Graham Wed Aug 13 15:28:59 2003

"And for you, Nebraska, fuckloads of tornados!"

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