Science Under the Bush Administration

The techie/gadget blog Gizmodo did an interesting post allowing that there were some scientific advancements under Bush:

The Library of Congress began posting photos of their incredible catalog on Flickr, for example, and the FBI created widgets for locating sexual predators and most wanted criminals. New tools for college students helped them find loans and compare schools, and finally we were able to pay taxes online. Diplomatic and Intelligence agencies jumped on the Wikipedia bandwagon with Diplopedia and Intellipedia, respectively.

This may strike many Citizens as odd, given how much we’ve heard (and/or believed) about the Bush Admin. being bad on, or averse to, science.
In an interview with SEED magazine, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy under Bush, John Marburger, has some thoughts on that:

We’ve seen some increased visibility of the science community during the Bush administration. I think that was part of a political strategy of the Democratic Party, which was somewhat successful, to undermine the credibility of the Bush administration by fixing on these issues.

The ACLU and RFK Jr. have the other side of the story, after the jump

The ACLU raised objections in ’05 along the lines of stifling science in the name of security after 9/11:

  • moves to overclassify information and designate whole areas of research as “sensitive but unclassified;”
  • outright censorship and prescreening of scientific articles before publication;
  • exclusion of foreign students from access to research projects;
  • suppression of environmental and public health information; and
  • increased restrictions on materials and technology commonly used in basic scientific research.  

Meanwhile RFK Jr. takes on the EPA  in 2004 for their negligence (or even obstruction) at protecting the environment.  Here he relays one anecdote about the pork lobby’s intervention:

Zahn had identified bacteria that can make people sick–and that are resistant to antibiotics–in the air surrounding industrial-style hog farms. His studies proved that billions of these “superbugs” were traveling across property lines daily, endangering the health of neighbors and their herds. I was shocked when Zahn canceled his appearance on the day of the conference under orders from the Agriculture Department in Washington. I later uncovered a fax trail proving the order was prompted by lobbyists from the National Pork Producers Council. Zahn told me that his supervisor at the USDA, under pressure from the hog industry, had ordered him not to publish his study and that he had been forced to cancel more than a dozen public appearances

this is just random

(Post-Topic HatTip: Grizzles)


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One Response to “Science Under the Bush Administration”

  1. Sara Says:

    Thx for the link to the LOC Flickr page. Who knew???

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