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United States Science

Scientists Challenge U.S. on Scientific Distortions 1479

rocketjam writes "The Union of Concerned Scientists, an independent organization which includes 20 Nobel laureates, issued a statement accusing the Bush administration of distorting scientific fact and supressing findings to fit administration policy decisions on the environment, health, biomedical research and nuclear weaponry. They also issued a 37-page report detailing the accusations. Bush's science adviser, John Marburger, called the report biased and said he was troubled that some very prestigious scientists had signed the statement. Numerous complaints from the scientific community about the administration's scientific policy-making prompted the The Union of Concerned Scientists to begin investigating the issue last summer. As an example, the group noted the panel that advises the Centers for Disease Control on lead poisoning had been prepared to recommend strengthening regulations due to new findings on lead toxicity, but had their recommendation rejected by the administration and two panel members replaced by individuals with ties to the lead industry." Other articles: Sydney Morning Herald, New York Times, The Guardian.
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Scientists Challenge U.S. on Scientific Distortions

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  • Who to believe? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) * on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:53PM (#8328477) Homepage
    The response to this has been that these scientists are motivated by partisan considerations and are trying to create a political issue.

    Trouble is, if you can't count on 20 Nobel laureate scientists to make an honest, apolitical assessment of the state of science in our government, who on earth can you trust?

    • by rjstanford ( 69735 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:55PM (#8328494) Homepage Journal
      Trouble is, if you can't count on 20 Nobel laureate scientists to make an honest, apolitical assessment of the state of science in our government, who on earth can you trust?

      Why, the policymakers, of course! Silly question...
    • Re:Who to believe? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Docrates ( 148350 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:01PM (#8328592) Homepage
      I disagree. In an election year, with America as divided as ever, with all the political innuendo about corruption that's getting airtime lately, how can you release something like this and NOT make it political?

      The fact that Novel laureates are involved just ads more credibility to a political statement, but it's still, by its very nature, a report on consistent behavior of a specifc president/government. If it wasn't political it would be about "The American Government", or "The DOD or the "CDC" and not "The Bush Administration".

      Having said this, I don't think it's wrong, and I agree wholeheartedly with their conclusions, but I find it silly that they refuse to accept it's a political statement.
      • Re:Who to believe? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cardshark2001 ( 444650 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:28PM (#8329028)
        Having said this, I don't think it's wrong, and I agree wholeheartedly with their conclusions, but I find it silly that they refuse to accept it's a political statement.

        That's a tautology. Your reasoning - the scientists are releasing a scientific paper. Their conclusions have political ramifications. Therefore they are making a political statement.

        The fact is, the scientists are releasing a paper about science, and the fact it has political ramifications is just sad. Scientific facts are not political. They just exist.

        By your reasoning, every textbook about evolution is a "political statement". Obviously, because there are politicians who disagree with it, it must be a political statement.

      • Re:Who to believe? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jim Starx ( 752545 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <xratSJ>> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:42PM (#8329256)
        Yes it is a political statement. I think what everyones discussing is, is it a politically motivated statement?
      • Re:Who to believe? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by kisak ( 524062 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:53PM (#8330562) Homepage Journal
        Having said this, I don't think it's wrong, and I agree wholeheartedly with their conclusions, but I find it silly that they refuse to accept it's a political statement.

        As far as I understand it, the scientists are actually protesting against being pulled into the political prosess like this. The scientists reacts against becoming a tool in the political power game. They want to be able to do science that is independent of who-ever is president at any moment -- which is a basic right in any free country -- also the USA. The political statement is that they want politics out of their daily work.

        Scientist are protesting what seems to be important to this administration is not that good science is done, but that the right conclusions are reported and "reached" from "science". Conclusions that happen to support current policies. This is an unacceptable interference by politicians into scientific institutions and work.

        Science has earned its good name by being extremeely self critical and showing again and again to the public that their predictions are worth listening too. If scientists are caught making blunders or publishing deliberate misleading results, they will be punished by peers in the field, loss of private and government funding, and by the public perception (their source of future students) about that university or that scientific group. Of course, government plays it role in this process through funding (and by controlling nominations to "scientific panels").

        It has of course been tempting for politicans for the last hundreds of years in different countries and settings to use the credibility scientist have build up to force through policies that current accepted scientific theories does not support. But it is a very dangerous path to go down, even if the administration strongly believe they know what is best (and even can be right in some cases).

        What the Noble laurates have signed, is not about any particular policies, but the general freedom from political pressure to publish and present what is the current accepted scientific view. Then the politicians can defend or form their policies without pretending that the current scientific views in fact are something else.

        To mention a (controversial) example, the current accepted scientific view is that global warming is real. Then we can start to discuss if Kyoto is a good idea or not. Or we can even discuss if sciencists in general are actually worth listening to (we should maybe trust the Bible instead), but that is different to claiming that the current accepted scientific view is something else.

        And yes, you are right, the current scientific view about any subject can change in the future. And there are alway scientist that challenge the current view. But that is what science is all about, and this is how science evolves.

    • by Ryan Amos ( 16972 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:11PM (#8328752)
      John Ashcroft. He's on a mission from God, so you know he speaks the truth.
    • Re:Who to believe? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fireduck ( 197000 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:28PM (#8329023)
      the scientists. at least they use footnotes so you can look up their sources and come to your own conclusion.

      The Bush administration repeately hides things: who was on Cheney's energy panel, how much is budgeted for the war in Iraq, the true cost of the medicare bill, the amount of jobs to be created in the upcoming year. this list could go on. (and we won't get started on how we knew exactly how many tons of which chemicals and how many warheads, and exactly where a number of facilities were, and when we got there, we can't find a single one of them).

      Scientists may be biased, but you can check their bias by following their citations. with politicians you can't. (Cheney is still trying to link Saddam to terrorism, even though everyone, including the President, has acknowledged that no conclusive link existed. where is Cheney getting his info from?)
  • by mekkab ( 133181 ) * on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:53PM (#8328478) Homepage Journal
    accusing the Bush administration of distorting scientific fact and supressing findings to fit administration policy decisions on the environment, health, biomedical research and nuclear weaponry.

    Bush administration? I believe you mean 'nukular' weaponry. Common mistake.
  • Point (Score:4, Funny)

    by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <onyxruby@comcasTWAINt.net minus author> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:54PM (#8328483)
    Bush's science adviser, John Marburger, called the report biased and said he was troubled that some very prestigious scientists had signed the statement.


    I do believe that's the point.
  • WMD? (Score:5, Funny)

    by zgwortz962 ( 641208 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:55PM (#8328495)
    Typical. Next thing you know, they'll be claiming some country has Weapons of Mass Destruction as a pretext to start a war.

    Oops. Too late.
  • Uh huh.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:55PM (#8328503) Homepage Journal

    "We have to find a way to reach out to them and try to come to an understanding"

    Being scientists the touchy-feely "reach out" approach won't work. They'll have to come up with solid data to refute these claims.

    Money is a double edged sword: it's necessary for science & research but it can warp the results to be more business friendly.. and if the results are skewed then it's not science, it's bullshit.

    disclaimer: I work in the biomedical research industry but not in the U.S.
  • Marburger says... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rsidd ( 6328 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:56PM (#8328508)
    "...but we doubled the NIH budget and increased NSF funding."

    Which has nothing to do with the accusations the scientists are making. I wonder what sort of mindset the administration has when its science advisor can't even read the letter he's responding to.

    • by vondo ( 303621 ) * on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:01PM (#8328580)
      Yes, this struck me too. But, hey, he's a politician. When you don't want to answer the question asked, answer the one you have a prepared answer for.

      Q: Mr. President, where are the weapons of mass destruction you said were in Iraq?
      A: Saddam was an evil man who tortured his citizens.

    • Re:Marburger says... (Score:5, Informative)

      by aws4y ( 648874 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:18PM (#8328881) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, the national institues of health also have stated to confrences of developmental scientest that any reseach showing that, single parent families of families with working mothers, are just as stable as the "normal" 2 parent 1 income house holds, will not be funded. This happened at a confrence on child development. My mother an her collegues were shocked at this announcement. I, of course, didnt care, I am only an astrophysics student, then Bush announces his Mars push and Hubble is gone and all the astronomy probes that were planed for the next ten years are in jepordy. So yes this adiministration has a very poor record of distrorting facts and ignoring scientific goals.

      PS All that NSF funding has been going to projects that benefit DARPA and Homeland Security not fundamental science.
    • by tm2b ( 42473 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:30PM (#8329049) Journal
      "...but we doubled the NIH budget and increased NSF funding."
      Translation: "Like, I'm so confused! I thought we paid these guys off!"
  • by enderanjin ( 753760 ) <enderanjin.gmail@com> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:56PM (#8328514)
    Why are there 20 Nobel prize winners who can refute our findings, while we have an oaf as our head science guy?
  • by vondo ( 303621 ) * on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:57PM (#8328527)
    The summary doesn't point out that that the report (which is well worth a read) takes pains not to criticize the decisions of the Bush administration, but takes them to task for distorting the scientific input into that process. For instance, you might decide (as a political matter) that reducing lead exposure to children is too costly for the benefits received. This is a political question. Removing people from a panel and censoring the science that can be presented in making that decision is an abuse of the public trust.

    On their website is also a form to "sign" the statement yourself if you have an advanced degree in a scientific or technical field or are a graduate student pursuing one. Please read the report, though, before signing on.

  • by enrico_suave ( 179651 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:57PM (#8328533) Homepage
    Fark [fark.com] had the best headline for this:

    "The Union of Concerned Scientists says the Bush administration manipulates and suppresses science. The administration points out that the Union of Bought and Paid for Scientists disagrees"

  • of course he did (Score:5, Interesting)

    by happyfrogcow ( 708359 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:58PM (#8328536)
    Bush's science adviser, John Marburger, called the report biased and said he was troubled that some very prestigious scientists had signed the statement.

    Yes it's biased. Biased towards scientific truth instead of political motives (though by creating the document in the frist place, the scientists are expressing some political motives).

    And yes he should be troubled. Being a science adviser and having 20 highly acclaimed scientists say you are wrong makes you look like bad.

    that being said, time to go RTFA and see where i'm wrong.
  • by Ummon_i ( 515769 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:59PM (#8328558)
    who thinks creationism is a valid science rather then a religious doctering.

    They are luddites plain and simple.

    They came out against the a health study a couple of weeks ago. The study said that americans or too fat and should eat less fat and more veggies. Real contravercial stuff..

    • by mapmaker ( 140036 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:55PM (#8329495)
      They are luddites plain and simple.

      No, they're politicians plain and simple. They don't really believe creationism is a valid science, but they need to pander to the ignorant voters that do. Bible-thumpin', science-hatin' fundamentalists are a large part of the Republican base and must be pandered to in order to keep them from voting for Pat Buchanan.

  • The name... (Score:5, Funny)

    by FrostedWheat ( 172733 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:00PM (#8328579)
    The Union of Concerned Scientists

    Oh c'mon, is that the best they could do? How about something totally original like... 'The League of Extraordinary Scientists' or the 'Fellowship of the Scientists'. That kind of thing!
  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by herrvinny ( 698679 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:03PM (#8328616)
    So, what you're telling me is that Bush is stupid as an orc*, a troll who's pro-business, and cares only about his reelection prospects... What else is new?

    *apologies to the Orcish-Americans out there, I know that's a grave insult.
  • by netglen ( 253539 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:04PM (#8328633)
    I'm amazed in seeing how far John Marburger has gone. I first knew him when he was the president of SUNY at Stony Brook when I was a student. He then went to Brookhaven National Labs and now he's the President's Science Advisor. I'll be real interested in how this whole event carries out. Personally I found Marburger to be a really upfront and a likeable person. I hope these high level politcs hasn't changed him.
  • Wired's article. (Score:5, Informative)

    by CFBMoo1 ( 157453 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:06PM (#8328658) Homepage
    Here's one on wired. [wired.com] I saw that one before the headline here. As for who to believe, I'm inclined to go with twenty Nobel laureates and 40 other scientists over one Whitehouse full of politicians. No matter what your opinion on politics, don't forget to get out and vote this year and let them know how you feel about this and other issues.
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:06PM (#8328660) Homepage Journal
    New Administration Guidelines:

    Pi has been redefined as 3, any greater precision may be an aid to terrorists.

    e has been redefined as 2, any greater precision may be an aid to terrorists.

    Air purity regulations have been relaxed so reduced visibility will help obscur tall buildings from planes piloted by terrorists.

    Water purity regulations have been relaxed so terrorists drinking it may go to their martyrdom sooner, without killing patriotic americans.

    The etters '','' nd '' hve been strken from the lphbet to hnder terrorst communctons.

    Your Presdent thnks you for dong your prt to defet the enmes of merc nd protect freedom!

  • by DirtyJ ( 576100 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:08PM (#8328700)
    Science under the Bush adminstration is troubling indeed. Recently we've heard talk of reallocating the bulk of NASA's budget toward going to Mars. This is both half-hearted and doomed to failure since most people realize that hundreds of billions of dollars will be required. Suggesting modest budgetary increases for the program, plus sucking essentially all of NASA's space science money into a manned Mars mission is asinine. Killing off space science will result in much, much more harm to astronomical progress than will be offset by going to Mars.

    We also see the imminent demise of HST. I know the timing is apparently just coincidental, but some speculate that killing off the Shuttle program now has a lot to do with the potential budget pressures imposed by the Mars travel.

    I don't mean to disparage the idea of manned travel to Mars. I think it would be as nifty as the next person, and the advances required will no doubt produce ancillary technological benefits that will benefit everyone. However, the current leaning seems to be toward severely damaging existing and planned space astronomy to get there. Not good.

  • It is truly a shame (Score:5, Interesting)

    by instantkarma1 ( 234104 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:09PM (#8328709)
    that politics influences the scientific process. This administration, in particular, seems to know no bounds when it comes to manipulating facts to better fit with their agenda.

    They (seemingly) manipulate intelligence reports to paint an incredibly grim picture of Iraqi's WMD program in order to justify an attack on a sovereign nation

    The view the same job market and economy reports we do, and yet see 250 million new jobs being created this year, and that the economy is doing just fine, thank you.

    Their interpretation of the Constitution allows attempt to circumvent the separation of church and state by giving your tax dollars to faith-based programs.

    Why not circumvent the scientific process if it will appease the American Taliban (read the very left-wing christian fundamentalists, not your every day christian) and keep the $$$ rolling in from big corporations?

    The short-sightedness of this administration is staggering. Yes, everyone knows other administrations have been corrupt as well, but Christ! They didnt' have the chutzpah this one does.

    They scare me.

    • by madMingusMax ( 693022 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:20PM (#8328913)
      I think you mean "Right-wing" .

      This is the same administration who has essentially trampled your civil liberties as well.
      This is the same administration who have turned a $200billion surplus into a $700billion deficit.
      This is the same administration who wants to remove Evolution from schools and teach Creationism.
      This is the same administration who thinks that abstience is the only topic which needs to be discussed in Sexual Education.

      What's trampling over the scientific process?
  • by rjelks ( 635588 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:10PM (#8328739) Homepage
    I'm not surprised by the lack of concern in the general population. We've still got school districts that are fighting to keep evolution out of the public schools! I'm afraid too many people's idea of science are shows like "FOX Special - "Conspiracy Theory: DID WE LAND ON THE MOON?" If we as a society don't understand science, then our leaders will get away with shuffling off pseudo-science, self-serving, political-oriented junk on the country. If anyone wants a good read, Carl Sagan co-wrote this awesome "book [amazon.com] about science vs. ignorance. /rant off
  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:12PM (#8328760)
    The Bush administration has started to get into a bad habit of saying things it can't back up, when simply telling the truth would have been good enough.

    We had a legit reason to invade Iraq, it just wasn't the one the administration was talking about. At the end of the first Gulf War, the peace treaty said that Iraq would not have WMDs, and the UN would get to have uninterfered with inspections to make sure they didn't. Iraq was playing games with the inspectors, so we couldn't be sure that they didn't have any WMDs. That alone is a justification to attack, they had broken the deal that ended the first war.

    They were playing the hidden ball trick and making it look like they had WMDs. That was the reason Saddam had to go, because we couldn't take the risk that he just might have the ability to give his WMD program to Al Queda.

    But, instead of saying that it was a worst case situation that we should have the ability to prove isn't happening but can't, the Bush administration took it a step foward and said that Iraq actually did have WMDs, and it turns out Saddam had the biggest bluff in history working. Saddam and the people around him sure thought they had WMDs, but the truth turns out to be that his scientists couldn't come up with the goods but were too scared of him to say they faied. Oops...

    Had Bush just stuck to what he knew was true, he could have justified the war with a weaker but still good enough justification. But, instead, he over inflated the information, and now he's got a credibility problem that infects nearly everything else he says. He ended up doing a right thing but for the wrong reasons...
  • by belmolis ( 702863 ) <billposer.alum@mit@edu> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:14PM (#8328806) Homepage

    The scientists signing the letter do not represent the Union of Concerned Scientists. They are an independent group who are merely endorsing the UCS report. Furthermore, they include scientists who are not particularly left-wing, such as H-bomb designer Richard Garwin and physicist Norman Ramsey, both of whom served as advisers to Republican administrations. According to this news item [philly.com], organizations opposing the Bush administration policy include: the National Academies of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Federation of American Scientists, and the Association of American Medical Colleges. The opposition isn't coming from the left fringe; it is mainstream.

  • Troubling... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lebofsky ( 141548 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:15PM (#8328819)
    I find it troubling how much of a disconnect there is in the American public (and beyond) such that political opinion overshadows scientific fact and mathematical logic. Yet another sign our education system is in crisis.

    Even sadder is that people generally don't care to understand the difference between 1 million and 1 billion and 1 trillion. It's all just some big number to them, but a few extra zeros really matter!

    As always, I blame the news media (present company excluded, of course). They could really help bridge the gaps but they don't. I believe a law should be passed that every number ever stated in the news should be followed by an analogous per capita statstic. Like, $87 Billion more for the War on Iraq? That'll be $300 each per American. Funny.. Isn't that exactly what Bush gave us in the first tax year after he was elected?

    Oops. Too much coffee. Back to work..

    - Lebofsky
  • by JustAnOtherCodeSerf ( 181281 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:16PM (#8328837)
    Everything's fine. According to the president himself, we don't have nuclear weapons... we have nukular weapons... a totally different thing.

    *whew*
  • Nothing new? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FreshFunk510 ( 526493 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:17PM (#8328864)
    I've seemed to notice that many /.-ers have this opinion of "nothing new". Yes, this is nothing new (especially if you're a skeptic of the Bush administration) but to me this means something big.

    The reason is is that much of our bias, one way or another, has come from the media. Yes, much of it can be based on facts, but I think we'd all be lying to ourselves considering the amount of biased media out there. While scientists could have their own political agenda, the fact that this report was signed off by 20 Nobel Laureates gives it real legitimacy.

    Nobel Laureates don't come a dime a dozen and they can't be bought out or created like special think tank groups out there. So, therefore, this sort of report gives our concerns about the Bush administration, in my opinion, real legitimacy. No longer can people say that our skepticism is the result of "liberal media".
    • by HarveyBirdman ( 627248 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:06PM (#8329692) Journal
      While scientists could have their own political agenda, the fact that this report was signed off by 20 Nobel Laureates gives it real legitimacy.

      Laureates in what, though? Is a Nobel prize winner for work in cosmology really worth listening on climatology? Does a prize for quantum physics give one the right to judge dangerous lead levels?

      Nobel Laureates don't come a dime a dozen and they can't be bought

      Bullshit. They can suffer from ideologies just as much as anyone. Some of the most ideologically blinkered people I have met in my life have had PhDs and were leaders in their professional fields. They get so many accolades in their field they think they can do no wrong elsewhere.

  • by cruc ( 599914 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:24PM (#8328976)
    ....that has consensus within the scientific community, though maybe they have consensus with the politically left which they are most certainly (the city where they are located should be a tiny hint). That they are unbiased and indendant is laughable.

    UCS Background:


    -The Union of Concerned Scientists was born out of a protest against the war in Vietnam. In 1969, a group of 48 faculty members at MIT -- the original "union" -- sponsored a one-day work stoppage of scientific research. A conference that coincided with the strike included appearances from such notables as Noam Chomsky (who is now recognized as a leader of the 21st Century "hate-America left"); Eric Mann, who led the 1960s terrorist Weather Underground; and Jonathan Kabat, who argued: "We want capitalism to come to an end."

    -Later that year, when the founding document of the Union of Concerned Scientists was formalized, the United States' relationship with the Soviet Union was featured even more prominently than environmental issues. Three of the five propositions in the founding document concern political questions of the Cold War -- a topic about which even the brightest physicists and biologists can claim no particular expertise.

    -UCS continues to involve itself in issues where scientific credentials carry little weight. For example, the group opposes urban sprawl, disputes a war in Iraq, and supports abortion. While these positions may be perfectly legitimate in themselves, they are hardly the product of "rigorous scientific analysis."

    Issues:

    -In 1998 UCS issued a report saying that the threat of North Korea developing nuclear weapons was exaggerated and that the bellicose nation posed no imminent danger.

    -In 1997 UCS organized a petition that warned of "global warming" and advocated U.S. ratification of the Kyoto treaty. It was signed by 1,600 scientists, and so UCS declared that "the scientific community has reached a consensus." But when a counter-petition that questioned this so-called "consensus" was signed by more than 17,000 other scientists, UCS declared it a "deliberate attempt to deceive the scientific community with misinformation."

    -UCS invested significant resources in "a multiyear effort to protect Bacillus thuringiensis, a valuable natural pesticide, by bringing high visibility to a preliminary report on the toxic effect of transgenic [biotech] corn pollen on the Monarch Butterfly." Unfortunately for them, both the USDA and the EPA have concluded that Bt corn is only a threat to the crop-devastating insects it's supposed to kill.

    -Based, we suppose, on some "science" or other, UCS's Margaret Mellon predicted in 1999 that American farmers would reduce their planting of genetically enhanced seeds in the year 2000, saying it "probably represents a turning point." What happened? Just the reverse. Planting of biotech crops has increased in 2000, 2001 and 2002 -- and shows no sign of slowing down.

    -In 1980 UCS predicted that the earth would soon run out of fossil fuels. "It is now abundantly clear," the group wrote, "that the world has entered a period of chronic energy shortages." Oops! Known reserves of oil, coal and natural gas have never been higher, and show every sign of increasing.

    -To improve fuel efficiency, UCS argues for lighter tires on SUVs. But lighter tires are blamed -- even by Ralph's Nader's Public Citizen -- for tread separation. 148 deaths and more than 500 injuries were attributed to tread separation in Firestone tires alone.
    UCS apparently hasn't learned from its many, many mistakes. But if at first you don't succeed, scare, scare again.


    (As quoted from www.activistcash.com )

    Unbiased? "Rigorus" scientific processes? Yea right.

    Cruc
  • by superpulpsicle ( 533373 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:31PM (#8329063)
    All these corruptions and political BS is going to abuse our scientific and military strength.

    It's almost inevitable that history repeats itself. US is on track to crash and burn like the Roman Empire.
  • by zigzag ( 2071 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:45PM (#8329314)
    We'd all be better off if we would stick to discussing the facts rather than immediately questioning people's motivations. No matter what the political bent of these scientists is, the question is whether or not there is any truth in their charges and should something be done. Let's try to be adults.

  • Here is some already formatted HTML you can copy into your email client (preferably Mozilla). Remember to remove the blank spaces Slashdot puts in URLs.

    U.S. government corruption: Two Stories

    Killing and destroying property
    N.Y. Times editorial [nytimes.com]:
    "... Americans paid Ahmad Chalabi to gull them into a war that is costing them a billion a week and a precious human cost."
    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/15/opinion/15DOWD.h tml?ex=1077956111&ei=1&en=a6370df01dc83363

    Lying about scientific facts
    "The Bush administration has deliberately and systematically distorted scientific fact in the service of policy goals..."
    N.Y. Times [nytimes.com]:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/18/science/18CND-RE SE.html?ex=1077771600&en=fe9176d8d470477b&ei=5062& partner=GOOGLE
    The Guardian [guardian.co.uk]:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,115118 7,00.html
    Wired News [wired.com]:
    http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,62339,00. html
    Union of Concerned Scientists [ucsusa.org]:
    http://www.ucsusa.org/global_environment/rsi/rsire lease.html
  • Troubled... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jackmon ( 170028 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:05PM (#8329683)
    Why is Bush's crowd always 'troubled' about these things? .. as if they were dainty sensitive little people.

    "Ouch, you're troubling my poor little mind with your big sciency words and all your facts."

    "Gee, I'm just so troubled that you noticed that we're lying through our teeth. It just hurts so much when point this out to everyone. Please let us deceive in peace so that we won't be troubled."

  • by DF5JT ( 589002 ) <slashdot@bloatware.de> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:10PM (#8329768) Homepage

    http://www.ucsusa.org/global_environment/rsi/RSI _final_fullreport.pdf

  • by mkw ( 466734 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:44PM (#8330428) Homepage

    Whether or not being a Nobel Lauriate somehow makes one immune to politics or completely unbiased (it certainly doesn't, but I doubt that it's possible to explain here why that is the case to someone that believes otherwise), the Union of Concerned Scientists is certainly a political organization. It was founded in 1969 by a group of MIT professors that wanted to protest the Vietnam war and has morphed into an environmental group with positions tha are considered progressive (in the US, at least). If you have any doubts about the claim that the UCS is political, or that it is progressive, I would suggest reading:

    Unfortunately, you may have to wait a few days, first, as their site has been ./'ed

  • Just Read It (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sinical ( 14215 ) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @04:22PM (#8331055)
    Here [ucsusa.org]

    Here are their main findings:

    1.There is a well-established pattern of suppression and distortion of scientific findings by high-ranking Bush administration political appointees across numerous federal agencies. These actions have consequences for human health, public safety, and community well-being.

    2. There is strong documentation of a wideranging effort to manipulate the government's scientific advisory system to prevent the appearance of advice that might run counter to the administration's political agenda.

    3. There is evidence that the administration often imposes restrictions on what government scientists can say or write about "sensitive" topics.

    4. There is significant evidence that the scope and scale of the manipulation, suppression, and misrepresentation of science by the Bush administration is unprecedented.

    I must say that I'm *shocked* (*shocked*!) that anyone could suppose the Bush administration has ever been anything less than completely forthright about anything with the American public (cough, IRAQ, cough). I mean, they've never stretched or distorted facts to fit their preconceptions before, ever. Really!

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