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POLITICS: New Limits Imposed on Scientists

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posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 08:06 AM
In the world of science there can be no restrictions or limits in the pursuit of knowledge. However the Bush administration has made it so government scientists must now be cleared by a Bush appointee before they can share their expertise with the World Health Organization. A change that could be seen as a move to politicize science...

William Steiger, a special assistant to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, said in an April letter that WHO can no longer pick specific government experts to serve as consultants.

The practice, which has been in place during several administrations, "has not always resulted in the most appropriate selections," Steiger said.

Instead, Steiger's Office of Global Health Affairs now will choose "an appropriate expert who can best serve both of our organizations," he said. HHS experts made available also must advocate U.S. government policies, Steiger said. He came to Washington with Thompson, Wisconsin's governor until President Bush appointed him to lead HHS in 2001.

Administration 'tightening their controls' 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,"

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Looking for answers to the health issues of the global community would seem to require the input from all available scientists and there should be no restrictions.

With the contested issue of stem cell research and the strong opposition to it from the Bush administration I am not surprised at these new limits.

These limits have existed in one form or another in many Administrations. But having to be cleared by a Bush appointee before they can share their expertise with the World Health Organization?

In my view when there are lives at stake due to international health issues there should never be limits on scientists who have any expertise in that field.

[edit on 27-6-2004 by UM_Gazz]

posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 08:18 AM
i hope this isn't a surprise to anyone?!?! it is the continued process of keeping any type of non-govt views from the population. sorta funny that it is the WHO. could it have something to do with this
just a thought....


posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 09:31 AM
The bush administration is once again making decisions based on religious doctrine rather than allowing the decisions to be made by experts, which in this case are the scientists. Waxman sort of alludes to this, but fails to say it directly say it, most likely because he also fears politically the same religious groups to which bush bows on bended knee.

Once again the low brow redneck christian right wins the day to the detriment of our health and well being. Nancy Reagan has seen the light after watching her husband wither away before her eyes.

Wake up america.

posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 09:42 AM

HHS experts made available also must advocate U.S. government policies, Steiger said

That, of course, is crucial for saving somebody's life ( note: sarcasm )

This is insane, simply insane

posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 11:52 AM
Gotta agree, science especially those dealing with medical breakthroughs, should not have to release or advise only if it meets administration policies. Stem cell research will go on, I think this is an attempt by the right to try an control that research.

posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 12:00 PM
Bush's appointees have been notable for their connections to big business and to the Christian religion. They are also notable for their rather unusual stances on science... often extremist (the head of the FDA division that approves drugs and treatments for gynecological matters is a fundamentalist Christian who believes that PMS can be cured by prayer and Bible readings.)

This means that scientists can do work on their own if they like, but they can't get government funding for programs if their research isn't something the administration approves.

We've seen this before, in Russia. It resulted in the Russians' academic programs and science programs being decades behind the United States. Another 4 years of Bush, and we'll be the ones lagging behind the rest of the world.

posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 12:15 PM
Exactly, science doesn't stand still, because of political agendas, we can't afford to fall behind, new medicene's and cures are being found everyday, and Americans should have the financial backing an encouragement to be if not the front runner at least neck an neck.

posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 12:42 PM
CNN has additional comments from Waxman's letter to Tommy Thompson:

"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."

This is a perfect example of the obscene power that the religious right has in this country. Forget the countless lives that could be saved through unhindered medical research - we musn't tick off god. Why are scientists and researchers within the industry not calling more attention to this?


posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 12:46 PM
My daughter is majoring in biology and microbiology is what interest her the most, she wants to do research, this topic got my attention it is kind of scary.

[edit on 27-6-2004 by marg6043]

posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 12:51 PM
Don't give into fear. Microbiology is a great field to get into. Your daughter should do what she loves. Things will change, as long as we remember we can change them.


posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 01:27 PM
Now Bush is taking ideas from anywhere, this time from dark medieval time.

posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 01:39 PM
Scientists have been up in arms about this for some time. This is from back in Feburary:

Bush administration distorting science.

More than 60 influential scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates, issued a statement last week asserting that the Bush administration had systematically distorted scientific fact in the service of policy goals on the environment, health, biomedical research and nuclear weaponry at home and abroad.

The sweeping accusations were later discussed in a conference call organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists, an independent organization that focuses on technical issues and has often taken stands at odds with administration policy. On Wednesday the organization also issued a 38-page report detailing its accusations.

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 input from individuals whose views are not in the main line of their policy dont seem to be sought or welcomed, [Dr Drell] said.

It's Big Business and Religion; the hallmarks of this administration.

Big Business have been the driving force in American politics for a long while, but as these scientists say this admin has taken it to a new level. Throw in religion and it just gets beyond scary.

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