Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Scientists Blast Administration for Distorting Science in Service of Policy

The charge that the Bush Administration suppresses or distorts scientific findings unfavorable to its policy positions is not new. Readers may recall our post of 7/20/03 discussing a Washington Monthly article on this theme.

Sixty influential scientists, including twenty Nobel laureates, have now issued a harsh indictment accusing the Administration of systematically manipulating, distorting, and censoring scientific assessments that fail to support its political agenda. Issued under the banner of the Union of Concerned Scientists, the report accuses the Administration of promulgating bad science, and suppressing good science, to what the authors say is an unprecedented extent, in areas ranging from global warming to air quality to reproductive health.

The basics can be gleaned from the New York Times report and the UCS press release. Further details are available in the UCS report itself. You can also listen to an audio recording of the one-hour UCS telephonic press conference.

Update: Here's the 2/23/04 NYT editorial discussing the UCS report. Meanwhile, a piece by Michael Benson in the International Herald Tribune is invoking the specter of Lysenkoism.
Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.