Servant of the Secret Fire

Random thoughts on books and life in the reality-based community

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Location: New York, United States

The name I've chosen comes from "Lord of the Rings," when Gandalf faces down the Balrog in the Mines of Moria. My Hebrew name is Esther (which is related to the word for "hidden" or "secret") Serafina (which means "burning"). This seems appropriate because although I don't usually put myself forward, I do care very passionately about a lot of things. Maybe through these blogs I can share some of these passions, as well as less weighty ideas and opinions, with others.

Friday, February 03, 2006

George W and science

I have to say that Dubya calling for more science and math training is a bit like David Duke calling for racial harmony. This, after all, is a man who has consistently muzzled scientists and had political appointees alter their reports when he didn’t like their conclusions, lied about the number of stem cell lines available when he made his “great compromise” decision in 2001, supported injecting religion into high school biology classes, put out false information about condom use and birth control... The list goes on and on, and we might also want to mention the most recent budget cuts in aid to college students. Googling “bush muzzling scientists” gives about 27,000 hits; here are some excerpts from a representative one (2004):

With more than 4,000 scientists, including 48 Nobel Prize winners, having signed a statement opposing the Bush administration's use of scientific advice, this election year is seeing a new development in the uneasy relationship between science and politics...

...this is the first time that a broad spectrum of the scientific community has expressed opposition to a president's overall science policy...

Feud intensifying

Scientists' feud with the Bush administration, building for almost four years, has intensified this election year. The White House has sacked prominent scientists from presidential advisory committees, science advocacy groups have released lengthy catalogs of alleged scientific abuses by the administration, and both sides have traded accusations at meetings and in the pages of research journals.

"People are shocked by what's going on," said Kurt Gottfried, a Cornell University physicist and chairman of the Union of Concerned Scientists, which has been in the vanguard of the campaign against the administration's science policy....

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