Thursday, February 19, 2004

Comrade Lysenko, meet Dear Leader 

Elizabeth Shogren of the LA Times reports reports:

"What we are seeing here, and we have not seen it before, is an administration that distorts the process by which it gets advice and censors the advice it gets from its own scientists," said Kurt Gottfried, emeritus professor of physics at Cornell University and chairman of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

For example, when claiming that Iraq had sought to acquire aluminum tubes for uranium enrichment centrifuges, thus providing evidence of a weapons program, the administration disregarded the contrary assessment by experts at the Livermore, Los Alamos and Oak Ridge national laboratories, the scientists said.

The report also shines a light on previously low-profile examples of alleged distortions. For instance, James Zahn, a research biologist at the Agriculture Department, said that, on at least 11 occasions, he was prohibited by his superiors from publicizing his research on the potential hazards to human health from airborne bacteria from farm wastes. Zahn left the department convinced that his work was being suppressed to protect agribusiness, the report stated.

Bush to scientists: "We'll tell you the answers we need when we need them."

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