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[greenyes] Bush Administration Science Practices


"That's the responsibility of governance." [spokesperson for DHHS Secretary
Tommy Thompson]

NEW YORK TIMES
July 9, 2004
Scientists Say White House Questioned Their Politics
By KENNETH CHANG


n a report released yesterday, a scientific advocacy group cited more
instances of what it called the Bush administration's manipulation of
science to fit its policy goals, including the questioning of nominees to
scientific advisory panels about whether they had voted for President Bush.

Administration officials said that the conclusions of the report, issued by
the Union of Concerned Scientists, were "wrong and misleading."

Dr. Kurt Gottfried, an emeritus professor of physics at Cornell University
and the chairman of the scientists group, said that the administration's
actions could cause researchers to leave the government.

"You can destroy that in a matter of years and then it can take another
generation or two to get back to where you were in the first place," Dr.
Gottfried said during a conference call with reporters yesterday.

Dr. Gerald T. Keusch said that frustration led him to resign last year from
the directorship of the Fogarty International Center at the National
Institutes of Health. Dr. Keusch said the procedure for appointing members
of advisory panels changed markedly with the change of administrations in
2001.

Dr. Keusch, who became director in 1998, said that before Mr. Bush took
office, he proposed candidates and if the director of the National
Institutes of Heath approved, officials at the Department of Health and
Human Services in the Clinton administration invariably signed off on the
nomination. But under the Bush administration, he said, Secretary Tommy G.
Thompson's office rejected 19 of 26 candidates, including Dr. Torsten
Wiesel, a Nobel laureate.

Dr. Keusch said that when he questioned the rejection, he was told that Dr.
Wiesel had signed too many statements critical of Mr. Bush.

Bill Pierce, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services,
said that Dr. Keusch was the only institute director to complain about the
process and that Mr. Thompson was the one responsible for the appointments.

"That's what we do and that's how we do it," Mr. Pierce said. "This is the
responsibility of governance."

"...

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