The New Science Wars
March 23, 2004 2:13 AM   Subscribe

The New Science Wars. When a leading psychologist like Harvard's Howard Gardner calls the president's science adviser a "prostitute," it's a safe bet that all is not well in the realm of government science policy. Indeed, in the past month, the United States has been engulfed by a kind of "science war," one pitting much of the nation's scientific community against the current administration. Led by twenty Nobel laureates, the scientists say Bush's government has systematically distorted and undermined scientific information in pursuit of political objectives.
posted by skallas (23 comments total)
 
I apologize for not researching this myself, but has our nation ever been criticized to the point of twenty nobel laurels against the governmentally hired scientific community?
posted by Keyser Soze at 4:49 AM on March 23, 2004


Chinese made american flags tied to our pickups are over. Intelligent people are not the only ones questioning this anymore. The sky is not falling, but it is my belief that the administration is.
posted by Keyser Soze at 4:51 AM on March 23, 2004


Topic, though not your specific links, previously discussed here.
posted by tippiedog at 5:23 AM on March 23, 2004


When one has God, science is unecessary and even distasteful.

A big hat is useful though.
posted by troutfishing at 6:56 AM on March 23, 2004


Since when are psychologists scientists?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:06 AM on March 23, 2004


Intelligent people are not the only ones questioning this anymore.

Oh, c'mon...there are more people who question science in this country than question the Bush administration.
posted by rushmc at 7:20 AM on March 23, 2004


Is Government Science like Government Cheese?
posted by swerdloff at 7:34 AM on March 23, 2004


Lupus - Psychiatrists and Psychologists aren't the same thing.
posted by kahboom at 7:58 AM on March 23, 2004


Well, to answer the question directly - not really. As someone who once ate government cheese for a time, I'd say that government cheese is a standardized low quality product which is generally inferior to Free-Market cheese.

On the other hand, government science - research directly controlled and administered by government agencies - has been quite successful in many cases and has given us nuclear weapons, nuclear power, and moon landings. There also have been a number of government science fiascoes.

This is markedly different from government cheese- which is unfailingly dismal.

The controversy here, however, is not about something called "government science" per se, but about government science policy.
posted by troutfishing at 8:01 AM on March 23, 2004


Damn those "activist" Nobel laureates. They think they're so smart!
posted by greensweater at 8:02 AM on March 23, 2004


It's shameless how these leftist, latte-sipping scientists are using political hate speech to politicize science.
posted by rks404 at 8:20 AM on March 23, 2004


Bush is a damned round-earther liberal.
posted by goethean at 8:50 AM on March 23, 2004


This will just alter some of the brain drain numbers and redistribute researchers who can't find funding to countries where they can pursue their interests in an environment at or above their usual standard of living. The academic community generally expects to have to be mobile to follow the research dollars anyway, so an international move shouldn't be too intimidating. The overall systemic impact should be interesting. I'm not really sure what the effect of changing the location of intellectual property holders might be.
posted by snarfodox at 11:58 AM on March 23, 2004


I'm not really sure what the effect of changing the location of intellectual property holders might be.
Come on! Foreign Science is more easily kept outside our borders than Foreign Medicines. It's what contributes so much to the ease in which the Current Administration can be compared to the Taliban. It's nearly impossible to find a "leader" anywhere who is capable of dealing gracefully with truths that contradict his world view. But I can think of no leader of a supposedly free country in my lifetime who has been more dedicated to the avoidance of truth.
posted by wendell at 12:59 PM on March 23, 2004




Some branches of science, technology, and engineering are having to stay out of the U.S. already, since the DMCA made certain kinds of research dangerous to publish.
posted by hattifattener at 4:35 PM on March 23, 2004


Can scientists be political? Okay, I suppose, if they don't use whatever corporation's or university's letterhead where they work. Sure.
If you were to poll academicians about the Bush administration, the results would be profoundly negative; most academicians leaning left, politically. No surprise there, either, I suppose. Military officers would be just the opposite, being predominantly republicans.

So, would it be proper to ask if these scientists were democrats also? I imagine republican scientists were profoundly anti-Clinton, too.
posted by kablam at 7:39 PM on March 23, 2004


mmmm..... Government Cheese....
posted by geekhorde at 8:46 PM on March 23, 2004


I almost forgot about this link on my blog. The pentagon likes stem cells, but cant finance research in the states so they just gave a Swedish university a quarter of a million dollars to do the research.

Washington, we have a problem.
The Swedish research, using human embryonic stem cells, will focus on ways to prompt the cells to develop into the type of nerve cells deficient in the brains of patients with Parkinson's. The disease causes tremors, muscle rigidity and slow movement in its sufferers and is currently incurable.

"The goal is to develop a line of human embryonic stem cells which can be transplanted to test animals with a disease resembling Parkinson's," said Patrik Brundin, the research team leader.

Stem cells are a type of master cell. Embryonic stem cells, or blastocysts, can be directed to develop into any type of cell or tissue when grown correctly.

President Bush has forbidden the use of federal funds to manipulate or create human embryos for research and limited scientific research to a few existing batches of cells taken from fertility clinic leftovers.
posted by skallas at 2:05 AM on March 24, 2004




Man tries to board plane with seal's head

"The man, who bound for Denver, told investigators that he is a biology professor and that he had found a dead seal on Revere Beach, officials said. He then cut off its head so he could take it home for educational purposes, he told them.

After more than an hour of questioning at the airport by federal and state authorities, investigators said the man was allowed to board a plane -- without the seal's head.

The head is now in the possession of investigators from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement......" - God almighty... those crazy, whacked out scientists. No wonder they're so wrong about Global Warming, Evolution, and the degenerate claim that the Earth orbits the Sun (as any fool can plainly see, it's the reverse). Satan has lured them all into perverted sex with seal heads, and now it's all they can think about and so their science has gone to Hell - and so will they too, fetish seal heads and all!

Satanic seal head sex : don't.
posted by troutfishing at 10:07 PM on March 24, 2004


What a fool, too.

If the biologist with the seal head had waited a few weeks,

It would have been an Easter Seal!
posted by troutfishing at 7:01 AM on March 25, 2004


An easter seal, huh? Better buy some duct tape and cover our houses with plastic sheets.
posted by Keyser Soze at 11:38 PM on April 2, 2004


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