Dec. 14, 2006 – Over 10,000 scientists are calling on the US government to stop manipulating science for political reasons, a government watchdog has announced.
This week, the Union for Concerned Scientists released the names of thousands of signatories to a statement reprimanding the Bush administration for what the scientists say is a "distortion of scientific knowledge for partisan political ends."
The signers joined 62 leading scientists who first released the statement in February 2004.
The statement said the quality and independence of science has suffered from political interference, and that the practice "must cease."
The scientists allege that the Bush administration has installed political appointees who have conflicts of interest or who are unqualified to fill scientific posts. Additionally, the administration has suppressed scientific government reports when "scientific findings are in conflict with the administrationâ€™s policies or with the views of its political supporters," the statement reads.
As previously reported by The NewStandard, for example, the Bush administration came under fire in January 2005 for attempting to undermine the results of a science advisory panelâ€™s investigation into the dangers of a rocket-fuel chemical found in water and produce.
In June, 2005, TNS reported that a White House official edited the language of scientific reports warning about the effects of greenhouse gases; the report was changed to lessen the impact of the scientistsâ€™ findings.
The signers are asking Congress to establish laws forbidding the "censorship" of scientific studies, require scientists on advisory panels to have professional qualifications, and guarantee public access to government and advisory-panel studies and findings.