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New Controls on Publishing Research at USGS worry Top Officials

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posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 03:27 PM
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New controls on publishing research worry US government geological unit's scientists

"I feel as though we've got someone looking over our shoulder at every damn thing we do. And to me that's a very scary thing. I worry that it borders on censorship," said Jim Estes, an internationally recognized marine biologist who works for the geological unit. "The explanation was that this was intended to ensure the highest possible quality research," said Estes, a researcher at the agency for more than 30 years. "But to me it feels like they're doing this to keep us under their thumbs. It seems like they're afraid of science. Our findings could be embarrassing to the administration."

The new requirements state that the USGS's communications office must be "alerted about information products containing high-visibility topics or topics of a policy-sensitive nature."

The agency's director, Mark Myers, and its communications office also must be told — prior to any submission for publication — "of findings or data that may be especially newsworthy, have an impact on government policy, or contradict previous public understanding to ensure that proper officials are notified and that communication strategies are developed."

"This is not about stifling or suppressing our science, or politicizing our science in any way," Barbara Wainman, the agency's director of communications, said Wednesday. "I don't have approval authority. What it was designed to do is to improve our product flow."


Since when are scientific results and findings "products" that need to be controlled and marketed?

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posted on Dec, 19 2006 @ 08:16 PM
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What the #!

Research results are "information products" ???

This has gone too far.



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 01:32 AM
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SO what happens when the USGS has to warn people to get the hell outta dodge when a volcano is gonna blow? The Information produced by scientific instruments needed for this are considered "information products" now. How will this effect NASA's partnership with Google?

Bloody hell, this is going to backfire large.

Also, I think this is going to apply to all levels of Federal Science as well. At least that's what the article I read said(i heard about it a day or two ago)

[edit on 20-12-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 01:42 AM
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Product control!??!

@#!*#*!!censorship!!! is what it is.

Stalin didn't live in vain.



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 02:53 AM
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Yes--

And I am personally aware of incidents of censorship such as this--and that is what it is--occur on a regular basis in the state-level departments of Geologic Surveys. What I know is first person, and I have documented proof that there is a conspiracy to suppress certain knowledge.

Glad you bought this one up, Gools



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 11:15 AM
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Just to remind everyone - every scientific discipline is being extremely censored by this administration.

For example:

Rewriting The Science: How the Bush Administration is Lying to You!

U.S. Still Silencing Scientists


And if what's happening in our microbial world is any indication, things are getting very bad indeed.

For example, The Perfect Microbial Storm


It's the same old strategy: Keep 'em in the dark, feed 'em horse#, and Blame the Terrorists!





posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 01:21 PM
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Big whoop. All they need to do is leak any findings that the administration wouild disagree with to the New York Times. Isn't that how it works anyway?

Seriously, this is not censorship it's editorial control.

USGS researchers work for the US government. The US government has
a right to approve/dissaprove publication of anything it's employees generate.

If I worked for Exxon and I wrote a paper that said Exxon kills baby fur seals, Exxon would fire me or forbid me from publishing the paper as an Exxon employee. If its important I would then quit and publish the paper.

Same thing applies here. If the administrations controls on USGS researchers are politically motivated or unreasonable I'm sure that MoveOn.org or some similar orgaization would be more than happy to subsidize them.


Now, if you want to talk censorship.....what Olympia Snowe and Rockerfeller tried to do is censorship.

Read here



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 02:30 PM
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Originally posted by darkbluesky

USGS researchers work for the US government. The US government has
a right to approve/dissaprove publication of anything it's employees generate.




HELLO!?!

USGS researchers work for the taxpayers who pay their bills.

The administration works for the voters.


We, the people, own that research.


.



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 02:33 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow


HELLO!?!

USGS researchers work for the taxpayers who pay their bills.

The administration works for the voters.


We, the people, own that research.

Then I guess, using your logic I can order the withdrawl of US troops from Iraq since they work for me. Right?

Hello?!?!


.


[edit on 12/20/2006 by darkbluesky]



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 02:35 PM
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Isn't that what voting is for?


Jeez, and I thought right-wingers were for more streamlined government. This is just creating more administrative BS designed to serve agendas.



Seriously, this is not censorship it's editorial control.


So science has been reduced to the managerial level of a hack elitist stuck up publishing house? Figures.

[edit on 20-12-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 02:53 PM
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Sardion - No, I dont think so.

Scientific data collected by US taxpayer backed scientists/researchers should not be used by government employed individuals to publish conclusions and make statements that constitute theory, conjecture, or speculation.

It doesn't appear the government is preventing the release of scientific data (that is not related to national security). It's attempting to control the publication of conclusions and speculation by government employed individuals.




[edit on 12/20/2006 by darkbluesky]



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 03:21 PM
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Originally posted by darkbluesky
.

Scientific data collected by US taxpayer backed scientists/researchers should not be used by government employed individuals to publish conclusions and make statements that constitute theory, conjecture, or speculation.




[edit on 12/20/2006 by darkbluesky]


Why not? I'm capable of weighing the evidence and making up my own mind as to the validity of the theories, conjecture or specualtion.

Lots of data is leaked, disseminated, published if it coinsides with prevailing thought by whatever mooks are in power at the time. Please...

[edit on 20-12-2006 by whaaa]



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 03:33 PM
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Originally posted by whaaa

Why not? I'm capable of weighing the evidence and making up my own mind as to the validity of the theories, conjecture or specualtion.


You are correct.

I should have said that I believe the Govt has the right AND responsibility to monitor and edit the conclusions etc. drawn by it's employees. Not that they should not be allowed to publish conclusions at all.

Suppose gov't researcher X concludes after analyzing a data set that Jesus will return in 2012. Should he/she be allowed to publish his/her conclusion on the letter head of the US government based on the sanctity of "science"?



[edit on 12/20/2006 by darkbluesky]



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 03:46 PM
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Originally posted by darkbluesky

.

Suppose gov't researcher X concludes after analyzing a data set that Jesus will return in 2012. Should he/she be allowed to publish his/her conclusion on the letter head of the US government based on the sanctity of "science"?



[edit on 12/20/2006 by darkbluesky]


I bet you a bag of peanuts to a can of shoe polish that if the USgov. thought that the info that Jesus would return would help their agenda; that info would be leaked with the full blessings of the sancitity of "science"!
Ever heard of Propaganda?

Since when has the USGOV had any real regard for the truth?

[edit on 20-12-2006 by whaaa]



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 03:54 PM
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Originally posted by whaaa


I bet you a bag of peanuts to a can of shoe polish that if the USgov. thought that the info that Jesus would return would help their agenda; that info would be leaked with the full blessings of the sancitity of "science"!
Ever heard of Propaganda?


Yes yes yes. I get it.

I don't know if you don't see my point, or just don't want to acknowledge it. It was a philosophical excercise....substitute any idea/concept you want.

Bottom line is if some GW activist at USGS can't publish his theories/warnings on USGS letterhead, he can simply publish on his own.

There is no censorship here. If he is arrested and his publisher is raided and his book confiscated, then we can talk about censorship.

If the government does not agree with his theories/conclusions, it is not obligated to stand behind them by including them in an official government publication.



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 10:47 PM
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Originally posted by darkbluesky

If the government does not agree with his theories/conclusions, it is not obligated to stand behind them by including them in an official government publication.




Science can only move forward when data and analysis are shared. The critical review process should be scientific, not political.



posted on Dec, 21 2006 @ 10:47 AM
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I can just see it now.

Scientist: Director sir, we got a Volacnoe about to erupt. If we don't evacuate Seattle now it's gonna turn into another Pompeii. We got to call a Manditory evacuation now sir!

Director: But how are you sure it's gonna blow?

Scientist: Because all the data suggests that it's gonna blow.

Director: Suggests? Are you saying you aren't 100% sure?

Scientist: Of course I am not 100% sure, do you want tousands of deaths on your hands?

Director: Do you want thousands of injuries and a riot on your hands when this just turns out to be a false alarm? No warning until it's erupting.

Scientist: But sir....!

Director: No buts! Get outta my office, I gotta practice my golf swing.



posted on Dec, 21 2006 @ 10:51 AM
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Sometimes I think we deserve our decline...

How pathetic can we get?



posted on Dec, 21 2006 @ 10:52 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
I can just see it now.

Scientist: Director sir, we got a Volacnoe about to erupt. If we don't evacuate Seattle now it's gonna turn into another Pompeii. We got to call a Manditory evacuation now sir!

Director: But how are you sure it's gonna blow?

Scientist: Because all the data suggests that it's gonna blow.

Director: Suggests? Are you saying you aren't 100% sure?

Scientist: Of course I am not 100% sure, do you want tousands of deaths on your hands?

Director: Do you want thousands of injuries and a riot on your hands when this just turns out to be a false alarm? No warning until it's erupting.

Scientist: But sir....!

Director: No buts! Get outta my office, I gotta practice my golf swing.



Ladies and Gentlemen...thats Sardion! Sardion Folks! Lets hear it for Sardion!!!

(wild applause)

He'll be here all week folks, and don't forget our "super - all you can eat buffet"

Have a great night folks and don't forget to tip your wait staff...They're working real hard for YOU!



posted on Dec, 21 2006 @ 10:59 AM
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Originally posted by loam
How pathetic can we get?


What's pathetic Loam? That I don't see a problem with an organization (in this case the government) in having some control over what it publishes in an official capacity?

That the "sacred" researcher is not allowed to publish what may be independantly arrived at opinions, conclusions in an official US publication?



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