Friday, September 29, 2006

More from the Times on "science"

From the New York Times this morning, Scientists Form Group to Support Science-Friendly Candidates.

Actually, this isn't about science at all, it's about policy:

Organizers of the group, Scientists and Engineers for America, said it would be nonpartisan, but in interviews several said Bush administration science policies had led them to act. The issues they cited included the administration’s position on climate change, its restrictions on stem cell research and delays in authorizing the over-the-counter sale of emergency contraception.

Of course scientists know best when it comes to the issues of carbon emission restrictions which could harm the economy (global warming), federal funding of certain types of research (stem cells), and deciding how drugs should be sold (the morning after pill).

In what it described as a Bill of Rights for scientists and engineers, the group said that researchers who receive federal funds should be free to discuss their work publicly ...

And of course, scientists should be free to discuss their work for the government public ally. They shouldn't be constrained, like, say, everyone else who works for the government can be constrained.

Is it just me, or does everything hear ring of dishonesty. The term "science" is just thrown out into the public arena, seemingly indicating a nonpartisan, non-ideologically driven agenda. But as I've blogged about time and time again, there is a tremendous difference between science and policy. Sometimes science can support certain policy decisions more than others, but scientific data is not the only data to be considered when making public policy- and it's dishonest for groups like these to suggest otherwise.


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