SCI/TECH: U.S. Still Silencing Scientists

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posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 09:11 AM
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More than 200 biologists and other researchers in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirm that they have been directed to alter their official scientific findings, says a survey released last week. The scientists say business interests apply political pressure to reverse scientific conclusions that might interfere with profits, including timber, grazing, development and energy companies. "The pressure to alter scientific reports for political reasons has become pervasive at Fish and Wildlife offices around the country," says Lexi Shultz of the Union of Concerned Scientists. According to critics, the Bush administration routinely alters science to suit political objectives.


 




More than 200 scientists employed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say they have been directed to alter official findings to lessen protections for plants and animals, a survey released Wednesday says.

More than half of the biologists and other researchers who responded to the survey said they knew of cases in which commercial interests, including timber, grazing, development and energy companies, had applied political pressure to reverse scientific conclusions deemed harmful to their business.

"The pressure to alter scientific reports for political reasons has become pervasive at Fish and Wildlife offices around the country," said Lexi Shultz of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Mitch Snow, a spokesman for the Fish and Wildlife Service, said the agency had no comment on the survey, except to say "some of the basic premises just aren't so."

Sally Stefferud, a biologist who retired in 2002 after 20 years with the agency, said Wednesday she was not surprised by the survey results, saying she had been ordered to change a finding on a biological opinion.

"Political pressures influence the outcome of almost all the cases," she said. "As a scientist, I would probably say you really can't trust the science coming out of the agency."

A biologist in Alaska wrote in response to the survey: "It is one thing for the department to dismiss our recommendations, it is quite another to be forced (under veiled threat of removal) to say something that is counter to our best professional judgment."


Silencing US Game and Fish



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.




A Mad Cow-like prion disease that infects deer and elk, called "chronic wasting disease," is epidemic in the US and is obviously a good part of the reason for this most recent debacle in the Fish and Wildlife Service. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is talking publicly about the epidemic, and wants to start regulating the disposal of deer and elk carcasses. Chronic wasting disease is found in wild herds in Wyoming and Colorado, and also Nebraska, New Mexico, Illinois, South Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin. It has spread to domestic herds in Colorado, Montana and other states.

"Mad Cow" Spreading in Deer and Elk


The Bush admininistration has worked to silence scientists or modify scientific reports on several other occasions. Commonly, scientific information about Mad Cow or prion related diseases was lurking in the background, threatening to make headlines.

It all started when Bush defined 'Mad Cow' BSE and TSE prions as "select agents" under anti-terrorist legislation. By January of 2004, researchers went discreetly public with their concerns about constraints on Mad Cow research.




“Scientists worry that US gov't classification of BSE prions as 'select agents' could hinder research”
www.biomedcentral.com...




By April, EPA modelers said it out loud, "Science is being altered to suit objectives."

Original Story


By June of 2004, US scientists were on a very short leash:





The U.S. government is making it harder for scientists to speak to their global colleagues... Rep. Henry Waxman said he has a letter showing that the Health and Human Services Department has imposed new limits on who may speak to the World Health Organization.

Under the new policy, WHO must ask HHS for permission to speak to scientists and must allow HHS to choose who will respond.

"This policy is unprecedented. For the first time political appointees will routinely be able to keep the top experts in their field from responding to WHO requests for guidance on international health issues,... This is a raw attempt to exert political control over scientists and scientific evidence in the area of international health," Waxman wrote.

"Under the new policy the administration will be able to refuse to provide any experts whenever it wishes to stall international progress on controversial topics."

U.S. Charged With Silencing Scientists




The new policy prevented key US scientists from attending the 2004 International AIDS conference in Bangkok. Scheduled US speakers were forced to cancel their presentations.





"The US Government came under scathing attack from senior members of the medical establishment for blocking scientists from attending the International AIDS conference that opened in Bangkok at the weekend."

US bans scientists from AIDS event

"The absence of American researchers at the International AIDS Conference here this week has left many pondering why the decision was made to limit US attendance, and by whom. ...It came from above [Secretary of Health and Human Services] Tommy Thompson," said one US researcher who was told not to present her paper and had to find funding from other sources to attend. Although her work was cofunded by her university, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) component meant she was forbidden to present or talk to the media, she told The Scientist. "So I'm not going to give you my name." "

Key US scientists missing from the increasingly political International AIDS Conference




The political difficulty with HIV-AIDS is that the 'virus' is most likely a mutated prion-virus hybrid, related to Mad Cow.

Mad Cow and AIDS

Gay Concern over Hyping AIDS 'Superbug'


Beyond covering up the Mad Cow epidemics, this administration silences US scientists in every discipline.





"Whether they are studying global warming, environmental toxins, or workplace safety, scientists who find their research unjustifiably shunned or suppressed face similar challenges from corporate and special interests, said (CSPI Integrity in Science project director) Merrill Goozner.

...Baird also took the scientific community to task for failing to respond to the suppression of science (and contended that) scientists ... must "stand up for the democratic process itself."

...An April 2004 General Accounting Office report titled "Federal Advisory Committees: Additional Guidance Could Help Agencies Better Ensure Independence and Balance" ...said some departments have appointed members of industry and stakeholder groups, persons who are exempt from conflict-of-interest rules. Industry leaders may therefore theoretically be profiting from their own advice."

Fighting for integrity. Scientists Dismayed at Corporate Influence, Politicization of Science




The Bush administration silences US scientists in every field to protect corporate interests, at the expense of ordinary peoples' health, lives and economic well-being.




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posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 09:33 AM
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Great article, Soficrow.
As usual, i applaud you in your quest to deny ignorance.



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 09:38 AM
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Especially since I'm najoring in fish and wildlife management and also part of MSU's RISE(Residental initative for study of the Enviorment). I have talked to a few people who have lectured here, one especially, a fisheries biologist, he was basically forced into leaving his position with the MDNR because of fighting wetland development and actually letting the system go through the processes needed for land development. (He now runs a seperate company that restores wetlands and returns river systems).



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 09:48 AM
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Return of science and not political activisim. Science has been corrupted by the liberal agenda for 40 years now. It's time science return to science. If a radical enviro wants to save the wetlands then go save the wetlands. Just don't do it on MY tax dollars.

Science should not include any politcal action, just science.


The utlra left has ruined academia, get politic out of the classrooms.....



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 10:00 AM
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Thank you, Sofi.

Many of my colleagues are reporting that they are not being funded for research (already approved for funding) in areas that the Bush administration doesn't like. Geneticists are particularly hard hit, and the environmentalists are finding that only the things that the Bush administration likes are funded.

It's scary. We have joked that we may have to sign loyalty oaths to Bush to get things funded and only run experiments that prove what the administration wants proved.

It's the kind of thing that the fundamentalist Muslim governments do -- and the reason that their science is so far behind ours.



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 10:01 AM
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Originally posted by DrHoracid
Return of science and not political activisim. Science has been corrupted by the liberal agenda for 40 years now. It's time science return to science. If a radical enviro wants to save the wetlands then go save the wetlands. Just don't do it on MY tax dollars.

Science should not include any politcal action, just science.


The utlra left has ruined academia, get politic out of the classrooms.....


Dude, seriously what is your deal. I understand when people have conservative viewpoints and all, but I have not seen one rational post by you ever. Do you just hate everybody? You must have had a sad childhood.



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 10:01 AM
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ya!!! don't yas all know, it's the government's job to come up with all these biological and chemical agents that can kill us......(national defense)....so, well, ya, our taxmoney should be used for that....
but it has no interest whatsoever in protecting our safety not only from the effects of their own tax-funded, scientifically created supergerms or the destructive dangers of their business buddies.....if we want protection, well, we better create a charity organization and cough up the funds for that one!!!



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 10:02 AM
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Originally posted by DrHoracid

It's time science return to science.

Science should not include any politcal action, just science.


The utlra left has ruined academia, get politic out of the classrooms.....




I'm not sure I catch your drift DrH. Please review these quote from the article above:

" "The pressure to alter scientific reports for political reasons has become pervasive at Fish and Wildlife offices around the country," said Lexi Shultz of the Union of Concerned Scientists."

"It is one thing for the department to dismiss our recommendations, it is quite another to be forced (under veiled threat of removal) to say something that is counter to our best professional judgment."

Under the new policy, WHO must ask HHS for permission to speak to scientists and must allow HHS to choose who will respond."

"some departments have appointed members of industry and stakeholder groups, persons who are exempt from conflict-of-interest rules. Industry leaders may therefore theoretically be profiting from their own advice."



"Science" is politicized - and manipulated to benefit international corporations.

....Are you saying it's okay to politicize science for the benefit of international corporations - but NOT okay to try and protect the nation's resources to benefit the health and economic well-being of ordinary people?







posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 10:02 AM
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Question: How many Bush Administration officials does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Answer: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; it's conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effect. Why do you hate freedom?


I though i'd share this cute little joke that i came across, it pretty much sums up the Bush Administration policies..



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 10:10 AM
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Syntaxer- you forgot unAmerican!


I wonder if this is related to the snuffed out microbiologists...who have met with death over the past years



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 10:26 AM
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Originally posted by dgtempe
Syntaxer- you forgot unAmerican!


I wonder if this is related to the snuffed out microbiologists...who have met with death over the past years





I wondered that too.


40 Microbiologists Killed: Something Fishy Going On?

Assassination of Microbiologists






posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 10:37 AM
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DrHoracid:


Return of science and not political activisim. Science has been corrupted by the liberal agenda for 40 years now. It's time science return to science. If a radical enviro wants to save the wetlands then go save the wetlands. Just don't do it on MY tax dollars.


What does the "Liberal Agenda" have to do with the price of rice in China on this subject?? It ain't the liberals running this country right now, that's for sure! Sheesh. Unless...you think of the Republican Administration right now as...liberal. If that's the case, I've been considering myself to be in the wrong paradigm for sometime now.



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 11:30 AM
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MY god, sofi... once again...GREAT JOB!


you do it right... you are showing all the connections...

I propose that this "union" of scientists do the right thing and disclose the forced "changes" in an anonomous forum, so that no names are mentioned and no one can be fired for whisleblowing... at least the info would be out there for fair analysis...

BTW, shouldn't the whistleblowers protections apply here? ohh right it's the government that is being whistleblown... OF COURSE

It churns my stomach that money is more powerful than SCIENCE in making polices.


This all brings to mind the reasons that BUSH gave for the Kyoto refusal...
too much money making the policies...


It is time to insist on disclosure of scientific findings that affect Americans health and our environments health (they are tied together)

thank you soficrow, for your determination and hard work. You are an indisputable value to this board...


[edit on 18-2-2005 by LazarusTheLong]



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 11:33 AM
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I tell you what, we have known this for quite some time, but as usual we tried to think that our government will not do anything to harm the citizens of this country and that we are priority in our elected government agenda.

Our government is not longer for the people, our government has been bought a long time ago by the big corporations that runs now this country they own the government they own the country and us included.

And we just sit and do nothing about it, but thank god is places like ATS in which we can discuss about the Truth.

At least until for now.



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 11:50 AM
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Originally posted by marg6043

Our government is not longer for the people, our government has been bought a long time ago by the big corporations that runs now this country they own the government they own the country and us included.



you are correct... I think the public has had a false notion that even though the corporations ran america, that they would also work in our best interests,

Afterall they must keep there little consumers happy and alive, or else they loose there customers, right? ... WRONG

it is a falsehood that corporations operate only with the permission of the public they service...
they now have bought the government , so they don't care... they can literally force us to line up and buy there services... by preventing competition, by steering legislation...and now by actually acting as a defacto government agency to enforce there "agenda" of disinformation... they are restricting our choices... our choices of politicians, our choice of environmental health, or choice of personal health... and so many more that we don't even see yet...



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 01:02 PM
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If those reports would undermine economy, I find "silencing scientists" more than acceptable. Since they work on taxpayer's money, government is their employer. Every employer has the right to introduce his own terms on its employees.



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by Megaquad
If those reports would undermine economy, I find "silencing scientists" more than acceptable. Since they work on taxpayer's money, government is their employer. Every employer has the right to introduce his own terms on its employees.


but who is the governments employer? we are the King daddys here! ...
the government is supposed to work for us AND OUR INTERESTS...

the choices being made are not in OUR INTEREST... they are in the companies interests that control The government. If the companies want to have all the say, then how bought they pay our taxes as well!
BECUASE CENSORED SCIENTISTS IS NOT WHAT WE PAID FOR!

also don't forget... the info being censored would usually scandalize the companies that are polluting our environment and/or causing health problems... AND THAT IS WHY THEY ARE CENSORING IT...


and if we (the employers) of the government have the say of what policies we accept... then i say NO MORE CORRUPTION...
thanks for the reminder of who our government works for...


[edit on 18-2-2005 by LazarusTheLong]



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 02:33 PM
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Originally posted by LazarusTheLong

Originally posted by Megaquad
If those reports would undermine economy, I find "silencing scientists" more than acceptable. Since they work on taxpayer's money, government is their employer. Every employer has the right to introduce his own terms on its employees.


but who is the governments employer? we are the King daddys here! ...
the government is supposed to work for us AND OUR INTERESTS...







Legally, this government works for us. We have a right, and the obligation, to call the shots. Time to stand up and be counted IMO.




PS. Thanks Lazarus, dgtempe and all...



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 10:07 PM
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excellent post....but, like this is a surprise???? anybody who has worked in the govt knows about .....'pressure' to make a report look 'right'.......information is being kept from the public...and it is merly a coincidence that all those microbioligist have been killed...err...i meant died......the stage is now set and the actors are beging to take thier places.....



posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 10:12 PM
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Good thread Soficrow. A few examples that might have been missed:


A similar story to the fish and wildlife report is a recent report by the government workers group PEER accusing the EPA of stifling opposition to the Bush administration's plan to allow road building in national forests. Here's the ATSNN story, though the links now appear to be dead:



www.abovetopsecret.com...

"No public expression of dissent is allowed in the federal government now," Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility known as PEER, said.

An EPA staffer wrote that building roads through swaths of land previously untouched would deteriorate the qualify of water in streams and have an impact on public drinking water.

Ruch said that EPA employees related that Steven Shimborg, a political appointee at the EPA, dismissed the staff draft as a "rant" and ordered the objections stricken from the EPA comments.



On the even more serious side of the examples we've got scientists now being required to be vetted by a Bush political appointee before they can work with the WHO:



www.msnbc.msn.com...

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., a frequent administration critic, said Friday it was the latest in a series of actions that in his view contradict the open search for scientific and medical evidence. “It appears to me that the administration is tightening their controls over their professionals and their scientists ... to favor its right-wing constituents,” Waxman said.

He asked Thompson in a letter to rescind the policy, which Waxman said “politicizes the process of providing the expert advice of U.S. scientists to the international community.”



It doesn't stop within US boundaries. A big story in Europe pretty much ignored in the US was the Bush admins covert attempts to derail EU regulations on chemical use in industry:



www.sundayherald.com...

A series of internal government e-mails and memos unearthed by a Congressional investigation in the US reveals that senior Bush officials succeeded in weakening proposed new European regulations for controlling the chemicals used in everyday consumer products.

US officials talked of how to “target” the UK, how to “get to” the president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, and how to “take on” the Environment Commissioner, Margot Wallstrom. They also wanted to “neutralise” the environmental arguments of the Swedish and Finnish governments.

Although the plan was warmly welcomed by environmentalists, it alarmed the $450 billion (£253bn) US chemical industry, including such corporate giants as DuPont, Dow and Intel. Over the last five years the industry has collectively given over £9.3 million to Republican politicians, including £514,000 to President George W Bush.



There's many other examples but the problem was best encapsulated by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a large group of eminent scientists including 20 Nobel Laureates, 12 holders of the National Medal of Science, university chairs and presidents and former government advisor's, including the head of the Environmental Protection Agency under Nixon and Ford who accused the government of deliberately distorting and omitting scientific facts to conform to its own political agenda:



www.abs-cbnnews.com...

The two documents accuse the administration of repeatedly censoring and suppressing reports by its own scientists, stacking advisory committees with unqualified political appointees, disbanding government panels that provide unwanted advice and refusing to seek any independent scientific expertise in some cases.

"Other administrations have, on occasion, engaged in such practices, but not so systemically nor on so wide a front" the statement from the scientists said, adding that they believed the administration had "misrepresented scientific knowledge and misled the public about the implications of its policies."



The press release from the organisation itself: www.ucsusa.org...


It's not just the US though. In July the WHO's former senior radiation adviser in Europe accused "governments" (without naming them) of "perverting science" in respect to the effect of radiation on humans to avoid huge payouts for the result of nuclear testing and the use of depleted uranium:


:
www.sundayherald.com...

Dr Keith Baverstock, who was the World Health Organisation’s senior radiation adviser in Europe, says that science has been “perverted for political ends” by government agencies which should be protecting public health.

“Politics, aided and abetted by some in the scientific community, has poisoned the well which sustains democratic decision-making,” he told a conference on low-level radiation in Edinburgh yesterday.



The UK has also been criticised by scientists for its "undervaluing" of proper science in its policy making:



www.biomedcentral.com...

The criticisms, which parallel those of the Bush administration in the United States, struck a chord within the science community.

"Policy solutions which are based on no science or bad science can be costly, both in terms of resources and reputation"



If these trends continue we could seriously be entering a modern version of the dark ages for science, the difference being money is now the God we can never question.



[edit on 18-2-2005 by kegs]






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