Science turns up the heat on Bush

Allen L. Barker alb at
Sun Aug 22 23:22:09 EST 2004

Science turns up the heat on Bush
11:51 AEST Wed Aug 18 2004

AP - Last November, President George W 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 organisations have occasionally
piped up to oppose specific federal policies such as Ronald
Reagan's Star Wars missile defence plan.

But this is the first time that a broad spectrum of the scientific
community has expressed opposition to a president's overall
science policy.

Scientists' feud with the Bush administration, building for almost
four years, has intensified this election year. The White House
has sacked prominent scientists from presidential advisory
committees, science advocacy groups have released lengthy
catalogues of alleged scientific abuses by the administration
and both sides have traded accusations at meetings and in the
pages of research journals.

"People are shocked by what's going on," said Kurt Gottfried, a
Cornell University physicist and chairman of the Union of
Concerned Scientists, which has been in the vanguard of the
campaign against the administration's science policy.


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