The Intersection

Fleck Tones

Fellow science blogger John Fleck has a piece this week in the Albuquerque Journal about yrs truly blowing through New Mexico. An excerpt:

They say it’s better to be lucky than good, though it helps to be both. That might describe the arc of journalist Chris Mooney’s young career.

Science policy is not the sort of thing that usually lands on the best-seller lists. But political fireworks is a different story, and Mooney’s “The Republican War on Science” has been a hit.

“We had no idea this was going to be as big a deal,” Mooney said in a phone interview from Bellingham, Wash., the latest stop in a tour to promote the release of an updated paperback edition of his book.

If John Kerry had won the 2004 election, it likely would have been a very different story, Mooney said. But at a time when questions are being raised about how the Bush administration informs its decision-making– on topics as diverse as climate change and Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction– the book has resonated.

Mooney, who turned 29 early this month, said writing a book by the time he was 30 had always been a life goal when he launched the project three years ago.

This really does a good job of giving the back-story on RWOS. I should correct one tiny thing in the story, though, which results from a slight miscommunication between John and I:

…the book has become one of the touchstones in a broad discussion at the national level of how science is used to inform political and policy decisions.

As evidence, Mooney points with bemusement to the way the phrase “Republican war on science” regularly pops up in Democrats’ political discourse. Mooney has heard it come out of the mouth of retired Gen. Wesley Clark, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Sen. Barak Obama and former presidential candidate Al Gore.

Actually I have only seen Clark and Pelosi using the actual phrase “Republican War on Science.” For Obama and Gore I was merely noting thematic similarities between their arguments and mine. Just a small thing….


  1. #1 Ed Swain
    September 27, 2006

    A grammatical question for Chris:

    It is very common to hear people say “…between John and I.” these days, but should it be “…between John and me.”?

    Well, which is grammatically correct?

    – Ed

  2. #2 KeithB
    September 27, 2006

    You don’t ask that question of an author, you ask it of a grammarian. (Or buy Strunk and White.) The author will simply say that *his* is the right way. 8^)

  3. #3 Jim Lippard
    September 27, 2006

    The latter, since both are direct objects of the preposition “between.” Also see this entertaining discourse on the subject.

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