The Union of Concerned Scientists
has issued a press release: UCS
Gives Obama High Marks on Scientific Integrity for First 100 Days.
Granted, after suffering through eight years of the Bush II
Administation, they’d probably give high marks to Pee Wee Herman.
They believe that Obama has taken a personal interest in restoring
integrity to the interface between science and politics. While
acknowledging that he hasn’t and couldn’t take a lot of action in his
first 100 days in office, they express the opinion that genuine reform
is on the way.
UCS is perceived by some (1 2 3
as a progressive, or liberal organization. Some may think that
they would reflexively grant their approval to a Democrat.
Perhaps, although in my opinion this is nonsense. Anyway, despite
their endorsement, they urge caution. That is, they understand
that we need to see more data before reaching a conclusion about Obama:
“The seeds have been planted, but they must be nurtured.
President Obama has directed his science advisor to develop a plan for
restoring scientific integrity to federal policymaking. The president
has said the plan must make government decision making more transparent
and protect the rights of scientists so they’re able to do their jobs
without interference. This plan should be both meaningful and
practical, and the Office of Science and Technology must be empowered
to carry it out.
So they feel that Obama is saying the right things. Now they want
him to follow up:
“In the meantime, there are issues that need immediate
attention, including fully restoring science to Endangered Species Act
decisions. And there are decisions that will have to be made over the
next several months, such as how to update air quality standards. I’m
pleased President Obama has signaled that scientific integrity is a
high priority and we intend to ensure it stays on his administration’s
My worry is that there are so many pressing issues, that the
restoration of science to its rightful place may not be a high priority