Thursday, September 22, 2005

Republican War on Science

Last night I went to a book reading at the Porter Square Bookstore in Cambridge. There Chris Mooney, author of the Republican War on Science, read and answered some questions.

I won't go through a lengthy synopsis of the book. Anyone who's been reading the news (from credible sources) and spends some time in a science department knows most of what the book is about.

But a couple of points:

- Since the late 1970s when Bill Kristiol of the Weekly Standard stated that companies should fund like minded intelectuals, and as a result these think tanks and "institutes" started poping up. Now the latest criticism of these creations is that they never publish stuff in peer review journals ... to counter this, these pseudo-scientific institutes are trying hard to publish. They are also launching THEIR OWN JOURNALS. Big question, how do you answer that type of tactic? Submit crazy articles to these strange new publications?

- More scientists have to take a public stand. Sure the National Academy of Science has issued statements, but where are the University presidents and the leaders of industry??? They need to raiuse trheir voices and that's where we (lowly profs, postdocs and grad-students) can apply pressure. WRITE TO YOUR UNIVERSITY/INSTITUTE PREESIDENT AND URGE THEM TO TAKE A PUBLIC STAND.