Thursday, July 08, 2004

Further investigation of the Bush administration's abuse of science

The Union of Concerned Scientists has issued an updated report (Scientific Integrity in Policymaking - 7/04) documenting the Bush administration's abuse of science. From the introduction:
"On February 18, 2004, 62 preeminent scientists including Nobel laureates, National Medal of Science recipients, former senior advisers to administrations of both parties, numerous members of the National Academy of Sciences, and other well-known researchers released a statement titled Restoring Scientific Integrity in Policy Making. In this statement, the scientists charged the Bush administration with widespread and unprecedented 'manipulation of the process through which science enters into its decisions.' The scientists' statement made brief reference to specific cases that illustrate this pattern of behavior. In conjunction with the statement, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) released detailed documentation backing up the scientists' charges in its report, Scientific Integrity in Policy Making.

Since the release of the UCS report in February, the administration has continued to undermine the integrity of science in policy making seemingly unchecked. Many scientists have spoken out about their frustration with an administration that has undermined the quality of the science that informs policy making by suppressing, distorting, or manipulating the work done by scientists at federal agencies and on scientific advisory panels. For instance, Michael Kelly, a biologist who had served at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration�s National Marine Fisheries Service for nine years, recently resigned his position and issued an indictment of Bush administration practices. As Kelly wrote, 'I speak for many of my fellow biologists who are embarrassed and disgusted by the agency's apparent misuse of science.'1

Scientific Integrity in Policy Making: Further investigation of the Bush administration's abuse of science investigates several new incidents that have surfaced since the February 2004 UCS report. These new incidents have been corroborated through in-depth interviews and internal government documents, including some documents released through the Freedom of Information Act."

1. Michael Kelly’s resignation letter is available online.

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