The way the Bush administration operates

"By their deeds shall you know them."


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misuse of science
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Misuse of science

The Union of Concerned Scientists investigated the misuse of science by the Bush administration. So far, over 5300 scientists have signed a statement supporting the resulting report (March 2004), including Nobel laureates, leading medical experts, former federal agency directors, and university chairs and presidents.


"Science, like any field of endeavor, relies on freedom of inquiry; and one of the hallmarks of that freedom is objectivity. Now more than ever, on issues ranging from climate change to AIDS research to genetic engineering to food additives, government relies on the impartial perspective of science for guidance." President George H.W. Bush, 1990

Here are the findings of the investigation:

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 wide-ranging 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 are unprecedented.

The investigation found not one or two incidences but a widespread practice of abuse, ranging from deleting material in reports to undermining the quality and integrity of the appointment process. The report says that,

This behavior by the administration violates the central premise of the scientific method, and is therefore of particularly grave concern to the scientific community. But it should also concern the American public, which has every right to expect its government to formulate policy on the basis of objective scientific knowledge in policies that affect the health, well-being and safety of its citizens.

Here is the executive summary (as a pdf file), and here is the full report (as a pdf file). If you are a scientist, please take the time to read the discussion and the report and, if you are so inclined, sign the statement of support.