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February 19, 2004

Wierd Science

In a dramatic attempt to remove the lead from Administration science policy, top researchers, scholars and academics signed a protest letter accusing the White House of interfering with all manner of government research, statistics and analysis.

The quote I found most profound was the one from Lewis Branscomb (who served as National Bureau of Standards director under President Nixon). Referring to President Bush’s wierd science, he said:

“I’m not aware that [Nixon] ever hand-picked ideologues to serve on advisory committees, or dismissed from advisory committees very well-qualified people if he didn’t like their views…. What’s going on now is in many ways more insidious. It happens behind the curtain. I don’t think we’ve had this kind of cynicism with respect to objective scientific advice since I’ve been watching government, which is quite a long time.”

Periodically, wierd elements show up at the table of government and must be removed.

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