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Distorting science

This LTE appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune this morning:

Distorting science

I am a retired scientist and have recently become aware of a report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, which, I understand, was signed by about 90 internationally respected scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates, regarding the federal executive branch’s treatment of scientific findings. The report, “Scientific Integrity in Policymaking,” is available at http://www.ucsusa.org.

I find this report extremely disturbing. It states, in part, “A growing number of scientists, policy makers, and technical specialists both inside and outside the government allege that the Bush administration has suppressed or distorted the scientific analysis of federal agencies to bring these results in line with administration policy.” I had not realized the magnitude of the suppression and distortion, and I agree with the conclusions and recommendations of the report.

If scientific findings by scientists in U.S. government agencies, their advisory organizations and non-government scientists working on executive branch projects continue to be distorted, senior scientists in all disciplines will refuse appointment to or employment by government agencies. Hiding unpopular data does nothing to solve the problem addressed.

Kenneth M. Brauner



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