Monday, August 29, 2005

McCain on Science

Senator John McCain and Peter Likins have a piece in the current Chronicle of Higher Education, arguing against the politicisation of science. They write in the wake of Congressional harrassment of various scientists for publishing work confirming climate change. McCain and Likins write
As we confront the reality of climate change, public-policy makers, including members of Congress, must have access to reliable data, data untrammeled by political or commercial interference or censorship. They must have guidance from experts who understand the complexities of the problem and all of its plausible solutions. Only on the foundation of sound science can they make sound public policy on global warming.

That principle goes far beyond the issue of climate change. The government relies on scientists for help in developing policies to improve the health and welfare of our citizens and to promote the economic development of our nation. Scientists -- and the universities where many of them work -- rely on governmental agencies like the National Science Foundation to establish valid and transparent mechanisms to evaluate research proposals and to give financial support to the most deserving. All Americans benefit from that relationship; we must insist that it continue undamaged.
Well said.

Via (again!) Crooked Timber, this time Henry Farrell.

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