10 November 2006

New Congress Should Return to Science

The new congress should bring a number of worthwhile changes. I hope one of them is a return to policy based on evidence, facts, reasoning and science.

Two federal agencies are investigating whether the Bush administration tried to block government scientists from speaking freely about global warming and censor their research, a senator said Wednesday.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., said he was informed that the inspectors general for the Commerce Department and NASA had begun "coordinated, sweeping investigations of the Bush administration's censorship and suppression" of federal research into global warming.

"These investigations are critical because the Republicans in Congress have ignored this serious problem," Lautenberg said.

"Taxpayers do not fund scientific research so the Bush White House can alter it."

Damn straight. Let's hope we see more of that and less of this.


Jimmy Carter said...

First, tell me why the government should be involved in science in the first place. Why should science be a political field?

When the government funds science, they get the science that they pay for. Does the Bush science have an agenda? Hell yeah. Did the Clinton science have an agenda? Hell yeah.

Science should not be perverted by political means.

WestEnder said...

"Bush science" is an oxymoron, hell yeah.

Mark said...

"First, tell me why the government should be involved in science in the first place. Why should science be a political field?"

Two words: Manhattan project.

A huge amount of funding for "science" actually is R&D for weapons. Engineering colleges across the nation would vanish if military grants were eliminated.

Even areas not typically associated with the military have strategic value. The Pentagon studied global warming (which it accepted) and how it would affect troop movement. Space technology affects spy satellites and potential orbiting weapon systems.

Remember the "worthless" government study of the brown snake which pols, including Jean Schmidt, claimed was harmless. Actually it's a rear-fanged venomous snake that has wiped out entire species of birds and mammals after being introduced to islands outside its natural territory. Eco-tourism is big business in Hawaii and the economic affect and tax revenue losses more than justified its cost (about $300,000--that's less than 1/33 of price of a single B-1 bomber).

Some scientific fields have no real military value and are funded as such. We're beyond the point when a scientist can work out of his basement--the government has to fund science or the U.S. will be left in India and China's dust.