Feb 192008

Here’s an essay that Jim posted on his Columbia Web site on January 25th. He notified his list of the posting in an e-mail entitled “Gretchen Don’t E-mail Me On This!”, which is close enough to the title of one of the chapters of my book, Censoring Science, to which he refers.

The Shadow on American Democracy

I just did an interview with CNN (Miles O’Brien) re “censoring science”. The point I emphasized is that overreaching by the Executive Branch, trying to make government science submit to political command and control, is a threat to our democracy, and, as a result, a threat to the planet. The scary part about this story is that seeds have been sown, and a playbook has been codified (although not written!), that will make the situation much worse unless the American public recognizes the problem and makes an issue of it. This is a bi-partisan problem – and neither party is trying to fix it. It is remarkable how wimpish Congress has become in accepting subjugation to the Executive Branch, contrary to designs and intents of our Founding Fathers

Congressional testimony. Do you know that before a government scientist testifies to Congress his/her testimony is typically reviewed and edited by the White House Office of Management and Budget? When I asked for a justification, I was told that a government scientist’s testimony “needs to be consistent with the President’s budget”.

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 Posted by at 9:52 pm