The Intersection

There were some serious fireworks at the House Committee on Science today. John Marburger got nailed several times for his wholly unsatisfactory response to repeated charges of science abuse and suppression by this administration. Meanwhile, Dana Rohrabacher proved that he’s just as out of it now as he was back during the Gingrich years, when he declared global warming to be “liberal claptrap.”

I encourage you to watch the webcast here. Some highlights, with minutes provided:

56:55-57:25: Committee chairman Sherwood Boehlert emphasizes that global warming is a serious issue, and states his assumption that the president agrees. Given what we’ve just heard about Bush’s reported pow-wow with Michael Crichton, methinks Boehlert is way, way naive about this matter.

1:25:15-1:28:55: Congressman Brad Miller (D-NC) questions John Marburger about the latest expose on science suppression by the administration, courtesy of Anne Applebaum in the Washington Post. Marburger bobs and weaves.

2:03:15-2:05:10: Congressman Dana Rohrabacher acts like an idiot on global warming, talking about thousands of skeptical scientists, yada yada. Chairman Boehlert expresses his sincere wish that Rohrabacher will eventually see the light on this subject.

2:28:52-2:32:55: Congressman Wu (D-OR) grills Marburger on a litany of alleged exposed science abuse case studies, and gets Marburger to promise to investigate the recent charges. (I’m sure that will be productive.) Wu has a press release about the exchange here.

2:51:00-3:01:25: Brad Miller (Dem, NC) comes back at Marburger again; and also criticizes chairman Boehlert for not holding hearings on widespread allegations of science abuse. Boehlert fights back quite eloquently, and it’s true that he’s taken some recent science abuse case studies quite seriously. But I’m not at all convinced that he is giving this subject the weight it deserves in his committee.



  1. #1 coturnix
    February 15, 2006

    Happy to see Miller so engaged. His constituents are here in the Triangle area of NC, chockful of biotech, pharma, informatics companies, on top of three major research Universities. I’ll drop him a note and when it gets closer to the election time, a few bucks.

  2. #2 Steinn Sigurdsson
    February 16, 2006

    The professional scientists representing working scientists, such as the AAAS, APS and AAS need to look into this and do some pro-active investigation. It is becoming clear that Deutsch was anomalous only in his blatant stupidity, not in what he was trying to effect.
    NYT has another piece today on NASA public affairs.

  3. #3 Stefan Jones
    February 16, 2006

    Excellent! I’m encouraged by the very fact that there are hearings, and even better Wu is *my* congressperson.

  4. #4 Jerry Meisner
    February 21, 2006

    Thumbs up for Brad Miller! The Bush admin has reduced science to a ‘she said, he said’ game of opinions. Marburger is a disappointment to many high energy physicists and has confused his allegiance with the executive branch with his search for scientific truth. Representative Miller is to be congratulated for helping to expose the lack of clothing the scientific emperor wears.

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