Following up on my rant from a few days ago about the way W and friends are trying to warp scientific research to fit their policies comes an editorial on the subject from his home state University of Texas. We’ve seen most of this before but this little piece was new to me.
Perhaps most gallingly, Bush officials also proposed a rule that would prevent any scientist who receives government funding (i.e. almost all of them) from acting as a peer reviewer for scientific journals. Peer review is the backbone of the entire scientific enterprise; it’s the best tool scientists have for filtering out the lies and the damned lies from the real statistics. Yet the Bush administration would leave that task only to scientists funded by industry – in other words, scientists whose benefactors have a vested financial interest in the outcome of research.
In effect, a gag order on scientists receiving federal funds. Very scary.