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Weird science... the Bush administration.

page: 1

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posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 09:23 PM
The current U.S. administration is involved in not-so-subtle attempts to spin, stifle, or ignore the results of scientific research. The ideology of the man-at-the-top seems to be the motivator for many of these attempts.

Writing on, Don Gonyea states it clearly,

The basic complaint is that the Bush White House puts political ideology over science when writing policy or when determining who sits on advisory panels set up to provide expert input into decision making.
The article is available here

A perfect example is the debate surrounding a vaccine developed to protect women from HPV. HPV is human papillomavirus, the most common STD in the United States. It is the primary cause for cervical cancer, which kills nearly 5000 American women every year. Hundreds of thousands of women in the developing world succumb to cervical cancer. Trials and test of the vaccine appear to indicate it is an unqualified success. David Baltimore, president of the California Institute of Technology, quoted in the March 2006 issue of The New Yorker says, "This is a cancer vaccine, and an immensely effective one...It has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives every year." (2006, Specter, M.). Emphasis added.

Here's the fly in the ointment...The vaccine has to be administered before girls become sexually active. The average age for first sexual intercourse in the United States is 16 (that's for both male and female). The science says that in order to get the most benefit, innoculate early; preferably when vaccinations are given for contagious diseases like mumps or measles. That means vaccinating before girls enter public school.

Not gonna' happen, at least as long as the proponents of abstinence are at the helm. The administration's policy is to rely on programs that promote abstinence as a means to prevent sexually transmitted disease. Also quoted in The New Yorker article is Leslee J. Unruh, president of the Abstinence Clearinghouse, "I personally object to vaccinating children when they don't need vaccinations, particularly against a disease that is one hundred per cent preventable with proper sexual behavior.", (italics added). I'm just some guy off the street (not an engineer), but I don't think lust or passion is one hundred percent preventable; in fact, I know its not. The previously sited David Baltimore finishes this section, "What moral precepts allow us to think that the risk of death is a price worth paying to encourage abstinence as the only approach to sex?". Indeed.

It's not only the health sciences that are subject to the administration's tampering. Climatology and cosmology have come under the administration's scrutiny as well. Don Gonyea's article on says,

Top NASA climate expert James Hansen was told not to talk to the media about his findings... and ...the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.....has told its scientists not to do interviews about a study linking increased water temperatures to hurricane intensity.
See 2nd paragraph for a link to this article.

Peter N. Spotts, writing for The Christian Science Monitor, points out in an online article;

In a recent NASA release about Greenland's melting glaciers, for example, "generally warmer climate" appeared instead of the more accepted "global warming."
Article here. This strategy is not surprising in light of the Bush administration's refusal to support the Kyoto Protocol, a strategy to reduce world-wide carbon emissions and attempt to slow global warming.

The Big Bang isn't exempt from this sort of tom-foolery either. The reports that George C. Deutsch, a NASA spokesman;

instructed another NASA scientist to add the word "theory" after every written mention of the Big Bang, on the grounds that the accepted scientific explanation of the origins of the universe "is an opinion" and that NASA should not discount the possibility of "intelligent design by a creator.
Article here.

By no means are these the only examples. Salmon, lead poisoning, coal mining, and farm waste are all issues that have been tampered with by the current administration.

Money is the primary leverage used by the administration in its efforts to alter or suppress the findings of researchers. Many of the research programs running today rely on a substantial chunk of federal money to operate. Less subtle methods are also employed. Restrictive regulations and oversight can also have a chilling effect. In 2004, the Dept. of Health and Human Services forbade researchers to travel to international science conferences without their permission. And government scientists who wanted to act as consultants to the WHO (World Health Organization), had to agree to advocate U.S. policy.

It is certainly my hope that these actions don't have a long-lasting effect on research and science in the United States. Our long-held position as a leader in science is showing signs of slipping even now. U.S. universities don't graduate half the numbers of engineers and scientists Asian countries do and our high school students are not showing any particular improvement in the sciences. And don't expect private corporations to pick up more of the funding tab, their strategic outlook simply isn't far enough in the future for them to risk the long term commitment many research projects require.

In a thread here Gazrok posted:

However, proof would really only be the BEGINNING of UFOlogy as a science...not the end.

I'm not so sure I'm looking forward to that.



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