Is the National Institute of Standards & Technology Scientific?

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posted on Sep, 5 2014 @ 04:39 AM
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If a NIST (National Institute of Standards & Technology) experiment is cited on a Science & Technology thread, then NIST is a Science & Technology topic.

This thread is based on a blog post from 2007 based on a NIST whistleblower.

The post infers that NIST is supposed to be the government's premiere scientific research institution.

It instead alleges politicization, corruption, and lack of interest in science at NIST beginning in the mid-90's, showing itself in a change in the stature of the person chosen to be its Director.

An excerpt from the post:


About the time of this major reduction in stature of the Director's office, some other major shifts took place at NIST, the echoes of which may have direct relevance to [9/11 truth]. Prior to that time, we were focused on scientific research and standards development that tended to be independent of what other government agencies were doing. All of a sudden, the senior levels of NIST were flooded with what I perhaps over-harshly termed "political commisars", whose job was principally to deal with what may be called "the political sensitivities" of our work and also making sure it supported big industry.

That support became an overtly-stated major mission for us. We lost a major share of our direct research funding, and from then on have been largely dependent upon receiving funds from other government agencies (the majority from Depts of Defense and Energy) for research and standards-making to support their own work. This "other agency" work amounted to about 40% of our total budget in my last several years there. In essence, we lost our scientific independence, and became little more than "hired guns".

georgewashington.blogspot.com...

Perhaps there are some members here who have some first-hand knowledge of the kinds of things that post is talking about.
edit on 09/05/14 by Mary Rose because: Consistency
edit on 09/05/14 by Mary Rose because: Wording




posted on Sep, 5 2014 @ 05:33 AM
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They are directly connected to some of the biggest players around, all involved in large capital infrastructure projects, defence contracts, etc.

KBR, Haliburton, Mitsubishi, Boeing, Exxon, Exelon, BASF, Chevron, Dow, etc, etc, etc.

What the "whistleblower" or what have you is highlighting is the independent nature of the organization which was cut down as they depended more so on funding from the big corps bankrolling them. They are looking for what helps their bottom line mostly.

BUT and it's a pretty big butt, the same companies I mentioned (Save the oil companies) have a massive focus on safety, security, technical know-how and work hours without accidents. New building practices that reduce cost but also increase safety, and security.

Many of these companies are still considered the creme de la creme in large capital infrastructure, talking about 500 billion or so every year in building projects, and NIST keeps them using the newest, safest, in short, the best methods, materials and practices known.

This is evident in the end result.

Not to say that there can't be corruption here, or that there isn't. Sure there is, but it usually takes a different form. These guys are some of the oldest around, they aren't a newly inflated group like in China bribing officials for building contracts (follow the end of this paragraph) simply to throw down cheap cement, faulty wiring and imported junctions that are going to fail within the year.

Now, I'm not saying favours and money changes no hand for them to get contracts, I'm simply saying it's not like China where the economic boom caused a corruption boom with it and the building projects done were below subpar which disintegrated years after. (High speed rail network that ended up with burying the actual trains after an accident to cover it up. Schools and other buildings collapsing after a richter 2 earthquake. Roads washing out. Tainted products killing babies, etc, etc, etc.)

Is it perfect? Is it as good as it can be? No. Of course not. That target is always hard to hit. My point is that most of the players associated with NIST who depend on them, are considered the TOP in their respective industries. And they also have a ton of defence contracts (if memory serves) that are classified, meaning the top dollar in military spending trusts them.

Any scientific organization however should be publicly funded with the patents going back to the respective associations in the field, and the schools that train our future generations. It's very sad that government grants will support studies performed by pHd students and the end patents and sales generated will be taken over by the corporations who enlisted them to perform the tests. Profit sharing, licensing use, etc IMHO is bloody well enough, and our higher learning institutions as well as scientific establishments would be so much better if it changed more so to support themselves and higher learning campuses more so than it does to serve commerce or government dept that really have only their goals in mind.
edit on 5-9-2014 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 5 2014 @ 05:36 AM
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NIST does seem to keep its patents from what I can tell from their website. Its been awhile I don't really remember hearing about the inner workings especially at the top structure.


NIST encourages patent protection on inventions when a patent would further the interests of U.S. manufacturing, increase the potential for current or future commercialization or use of the technology, would likely to lead to a license, would have a positive impact on a new field of science or technology and/or the visibility and vitality of NIST, or would further the goals of collaborative agreements.

Although patents are issued in the name of the inventor, the rights to inventions resulting from government work belong to the government. NIST's Technology Partnerships Office negotiates licensing of patented NIST technology.


www.nist.gov...



posted on Sep, 5 2014 @ 05:49 AM
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It helps to read the entire article too, for people that are not going back to the source link I ask you read this for some context:


. Once appointed, Directors tended to stay on for several years, through different administrations in an essentially career mode, usually until they retired. That all changed under the Clinton administration.

I saw it happen. After retirement from the Army, in 1983 I joined then-NBS as a scientist on the staff. After 3 years, I decided to move on (engineering on the Star Wars project). Becoming sick of that charade in 1989, I succumbed to my former boss' entreaties and returned to now-NIST in a supervisory scientist position at the top civil service grade.

I retired from there in 2001, and worked as a part-time contractor for them until last year. So I've had a chance to observe some of the higher-level NIST goings-on up close and personal for some time, and was personally involved in some of its politicization.

I don't know whether the NBS Director, Dr. John Lyons, was forced into retirement by the Clinton administration; I just remember the abruptness of the change after only 3 years on his job. He was replaced by a relatively unknown and also quite young scientist from DARPA. What I remember about her is her lack of credibility in representing NIST in scientific circles, her choice of senior staff with little regard for their scientific standing, and her keen emphasis on political sensitivities.She departed after a long four years, and the Director's office (and hence the whole Institute) has been in turmoil ever since.


What he's talking about is a shift from the command structure the outfit was accustomed too, and politics playing a role in its mandate. Although I don't think much has really changed. Possibly by putting people who were politically connected it opened NIST up to a slight change in operations, possibly pushing them towards more defence minded research (maybe more classified stuff as well?).

And of course this is all over 9.11 and the charge that NIST pushed an anti-scientific agenda on the investigation focused on how the towers went down:


When I first heard of [9/11 truth] and how the NIST "scientists" involved in 911 seemed to act in very un-scientific ways, it was not at all surprising to me. By 2001, everyone in NIST leadership had been trained to pay close heed to political pressures. There was no chance that NIST people "investigating" the 911 situation could have been acting in the true spirit of scientific independence, nor could they have operated at all without careful consideration of political impact. Everything that came from the hired guns was by then routinely filtered through the front office, and assessed for political implications before release.


I'd say any organization like itself would benefit greatly by being completely independent from the rest of the government. Aligned with higher learning establishments makes more sense, and publicly funded, only so educational facilities > then government and commercial industries get the full benefit of their efforts. Essentially giving back to the future generations.

Sounds like the guy is simply irked because of the political dealings within NIST more than anything. Not that it means that much besides them being micromanaged by the military industrial complex, the hill and probably a few too many suits who like yelling at people on the phone.


One was NSA (no surprises there!), another was the HQ staff of the Department of Commerce, which scrutinized our work very closely and frequently wouldn't permit us to release papers or give talks without changes to conform to their way of looking at things. A third was a bit of a surprise to some -- the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had a policy person specifically delegated to provide oversight on our work. Just as a reminder, the OMB is an arm of the Executive Office of the President.


I think it begins to devolve into semantics when you get right down to it.

It would be great if NIST didn't have to kowtow to governmental agencies, but isn't everyone doing that these days?


World Trade Center Disaster Study

On August 21, 2002, with funding from the U.S. Congress through FEMA, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced its building and fire safety investigation of the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster that occured on September 11, 2001. The NIST WTC Investigation was conducted under the authority of the National Construction Safety Team Act.


www.nist.gov...



posted on Sep, 5 2014 @ 06:31 AM
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I've only had to deal with them on a very small scale and had nothing but frustration in dealing with them. I run a small (very small) asbestos lab and had to order NIST standards (a requirement by NY state Dept. of Health (DOH) for laboratory approval). NIST didn't have their own standards! They weer out of stock and couldn't tell me when they would have them in stock again. I had to order the NIST standards from a place in England. Once I did, I had the DOH and NIST asking me where I had ordered them! It was up to me to do all the leg work in order to find these standards. The DOH just wanted to reap the benefits for my work. This was maybe 5 years ago.

I'm a little tired of government entities being run (poorly) like a business They are puppets to big business and deep pockets and care nothing about small business or an actual person.



posted on Sep, 5 2014 @ 08:59 AM
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a reply to: Mary Rose


termed "political commissars", whose job was principally to deal with what may be called "the political sensitivities" of our work and also making sure it supported big industry.

There you go. Corruption is corroding everything. "Commissars", the appointed carriers of the contamination.

Of by and for who?



posted on Sep, 5 2014 @ 09:09 AM
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There is no question that with Bement in charge, NIST became a political creature with Bement attempting to please the man who appointed him into that position, George W. Bush.

And Bement's boss Mr. Evans was considered to be "like a brother" to the president.

Politics, not science, is what NIST was all about beginning in 2001.



posted on Sep, 5 2014 @ 10:54 AM
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a reply to: Salander

The blog post stated that the problem started in the mid-90's, though:


Communication dated October 1, 2007:

"NBS/NIST had become fully hijacked from the scientific into the political realm well before he became involved. That hijacking happened in the mid-90's, and has only grown stronger to the present. Prior to that time, the Director of NBS/NIST was appointed via the political process (Presidential nomination, Congressional confirmation), but with the firm understanding in the scientific community that the job was essentially a non-political one, as the leader of the government's premiere scientific research institution. Directors were carefully selected from a field of well-known senior scientists with management skills, typically from within the NBS staff, after gaining much credibility in their fields. Once appointed, Directors tended to stay on for several years, through different administrations in an essentially career mode, usually until they retired. That all changed under the Clinton administration.

georgewashington.blogspot.com...


Do you disagree with that?



posted on Sep, 5 2014 @ 12:19 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: Mary Rose


termed "political commissars", whose job was principally to deal with what may be called "the political sensitivities" of our work and also making sure it supported big industry.

There you go. Corruption is corroding everything. "Commissars", the appointed carriers of the contamination.

Of by and for who?


One of the acting directors after Dr. John Lyons who is alluded to in this 7 year-old rant from an anonymous "whistleblower" is a relative of mine. He'd been promoted from within NIST, where he'd worked for years prior. He's published over a hundred papers, worked on among other things, particle accelerator design, and has held a number of high level positions in prominent professional associations. These days he's in academia.

Not a politician and certainly not an "appointed carrier of contamination."



posted on Sep, 5 2014 @ 09:09 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

The OP wasn't directing (their) remarks to people like your friend. Neither was I. The article alluded to people being placed in positions of power in this country behind the scenes that cater to big business. The "commissars".

Unelected officials that direct policy to favor corporate interests, not public ones.

More power to guys like your friend.
edit on 5-9-2014 by intrptr because: change in parenthesis



posted on Sep, 6 2014 @ 02:06 AM
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a reply to: intrptr

Actually, the acting directors is what the OP is about:


I don't know whether the NBS Director, Dr. John Lyons, was forced into retirement by the Clinton administration; I just remember the abruptness of the change after only 3 years on his job. He was replaced by a relatively unknown and also quite young scientist from DARPA. What I remember about her is her lack of credibility in representing NIST in scientific circles, her choice of senior staff with little regard for their scientific standing, and her keen emphasis on political sensitivities. She departed after a long four years, and the Director's office (and hence the whole Institute) has been in turmoil ever since. Four of her six successors to the present time have been "Acting", meaning in a practical sense that they may well not have had the personal credibility and scientific standing to survive the scrutiny of the confirmation process.

georgewashington.blogspot.com...



posted on Sep, 6 2014 @ 03:30 AM
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The OP's statement of the appropriate qualifications for Director:


Directors were carefully selected from a field of well-known senior scientists with management skills, typically from within the NBS staff, after gaining much credibility in their fields. Once appointed, Directors tended to stay on for several years, through different administrations in an essentially career mode, usually until they retired. That all changed under the Clinton administration.

georgewashington.blogspot.com...


(NBS = National Bureau of Standards, the former name for NIST)

edit on 09/06/14 by Mary Rose because: Add



posted on Sep, 6 2014 @ 05:26 AM
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a reply to: Mary Rose


Actually, the acting directors is what the OP is about:

Thanks for setting me straight.



posted on Sep, 6 2014 @ 05:44 AM
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a reply to: intrptr

You're welcome.


Thanks for your gracious reply.



posted on Sep, 16 2014 @ 04:02 PM
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a reply to: Mary Rose

I have not studied the history of NIST, but it sounds quite plausible to me that the position became more political than scientific under Slick Willy. It was he, after all, who signed off on direct-to-consumer ads for prescription drugs, and who signed off on the repeal of Glass Steagal.

No question that it is corrupt since then.






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