Bush Administration

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Today, the Nobel Committee announced the winners of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, equally shared between Elizabeth Blackburn of UCSF, Carol Greider of Johns Hopkins, and Jack Szostak of Harvard Medical School–all three American. This year’s prize was awarded for the discovery of telomeres, the repeated sequences of DNA at the ends…

About a week ago, the NIH announced its draft guidelines covering the funding of human embryonic stem cell research. You can read the draft guidelines here and my post on the topic here. As these are draft guidelines, they are open to a month-long period of public comment before the final guidelines are released, and…

Blinded by Legalese

Arguably the biggest news story of the week was the release by the Obama Administration of four Justice Department memos from 2002 and 2005 that were used to justify CIA torture of detainees. An analysis by Jeffrey Smith in today’s Washington Post tries to explain the context and the mindset that led to the twisted…

Today was a great day for science in the Executive Branch. Firstly, President Barack Obama (finally!) lifted George W. Bush’s August 2001 restrictions on federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research in an executive order entitled “Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells“: The purpose of this order is to remove…

As the day’s inauguration festivities approach their finale, if you’re anything like me the whole experience still feels a bit surreal. However, thinking back to Obama’s inauguration address, the one part that really stands out in my mind came from the middle, when he spoke about national security and civil liberties. Specifically, the following paragraph,…

Clearly, I owe my readers some true post-election analysis–something that has been slowed down by the insanely busy schedule I’ve been keeping in the lab and the totally overwhelming implications of the fantastic and historic recent election of Barack Obama. In the meantime, though, I’d like to point out a particularly insidious aspect of the…

Apparently, the Bush Administration has adopted a sophisticated new strategy for not dealing with global warming. From The New York Times: White House Refused to Open Pollutants E-Mail The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an…

On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, a case regarding the Navy conducting sonar training exercises in the proximity of marine mammals–some of which are threatened or endangered species. A large body of evidence indicates that these sorts of sonar exercises–which generate extremely loud underwater sounds–damage the hearing…

A report by the NASA inspector general released earlier this week acknowledged that political appointees in the NASA press office censored climate scientists from 2004 to 2006. That would have been interesting news… about two years ago. Yawn. What caught my eye, though, were these claims in an article by The Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin:…

A week after a major report found widespread Bush Administration political interference with science in the EPA, the Chicago Tribune reported late this week that the Administration has forced the resignation of Mary Gade, head of the EPA’s Midwest office: SAGINAW, Mich. – The battle over dioxin contamination in this economically stressed region had been…