Wednesday, February 22, 2006

inCurious George Strikes Again ... And again ... and again

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:50 PM Permalink

Jobs cut at energy lab restored before Bush visit
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Energy Department said it has come up with $5 million to immediately restore jobs cut at a renewable energy laboratory President George W. Bush will visit on Tuesday, avoiding a potentially embarrassing moment as the president promotes his energy plan.

At a Scientific Gathering, US Policies Are Lamented
David Baltimore, the Nobel Prize-winning biologist and president of the California Institute of Technology, is used to the Bush administration misrepresenting scientific findings to support its policy aims, he told an audience of fellow researchers Saturday. Each time it happens, he said, "I shrug and say, 'What do you expect?' "

Preeminent Scientists Protest Bush Administration's Misuse of Science
Nobel Laureates, National Medal of Science Recipients, and Other Leading Researchers Call for End to Scientific Abuses

Today, more than 60 leading scientists—including Nobel laureates, leading medical experts, former federal agency directors and university chairs and presidents—issued a statement calling for regulatory and legislative action to restore scientific integrity to federal policymaking. According to the scientists, the Bush administration has, among other abuses, suppressed and distorted scientific analysis from federal agencies, and taken actions that have undermined the quality of scientific advisory panels.

“Across a broad range of issues, the administration has undermined the quality of the scientific advisory system and the morale of the government’s outstanding scientific personnel,� said Dr. Kurt Gottfried, emeritus professor of physics at Cornell University and Chairman of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Whether the issue is lead paint, clean air or climate change, this behavior has serious consequences for all Americans.� 

Dr. Gerald Keusch, former director of the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), says he saw a marked change in its operations as the government moved from the Clinton to the Bush administrations. Under Clinton, Keusch says, he never encountered resistance in appointing experts to the advisory board that conducted peer reviews of grant proposals to the center, which focuses on international health issues, particularly in developing countries. He made seven nominations, and all were approved by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) within three weeks. Under Bush, his first four nominations were quickly endorsed by NIH but then, says Keusch, "it's 10 months before I hear from HHS, rejecting three of the four, including a Nobel laureate, with no reasons given." In return, HHS sent him the resumes of other people, many of whom had no expertise in infectious diseases or developing countries. Over the next three years, Keusch recalls, he had to nominate 26 people to fill seven vacancies and "came close to having a very dysfunctional advisory committee. I couldn't get a quorum anymore."


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