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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 don’t seem to be sought or welcomed,” [Dr Drell] said.