Mooney Invades My House (Again)

The June issue Harper's features Seed's (our) own Chris Mooney. In a series of short commentaries about "Undoing Bush," Chris contributes some thoughts on science. The 11 contributors all ponder "How to repair eight years of sabotage, bungling, and neglect."

Although the Harper's website has vastly improved (and subscribers have access to the entire 156 run of the magazine, which should elicit a big ole, Holy Shit! I had no idea Henry Smith Williams wrote that article on the century's progress in chemistry in the October 1897 issue), it doesn't yet have the June issue's contents up. And there's an entire other commentary to be written about all you blog readers who don't/can't give a damn about any reference to anything that is *not* on-line. For crying out loud, we construct "convenience" people -- this internet is so convenient because we refuse to get up and walk around, then we build our life around it, then we say it is as it has to be. Sometimes it takes more than clicks and links to have a discussion. Okay, that's a different post, okay okay, sorry.

So Mooney marches into my house in Science a while back, then again in The Washington Post, and now here in Harper's. We're just gonna change the sheets in the guest room so he can have an extended stay by now.

Reader's of Scienceblogs will recognize what Chris has to say. To summarize his points: the Office of Science and Technology Policy needs to regain a presence in the President's inner circle, "the scientific reputation of federal agencies" like NOAA and the FWS needs to be rehabilitated, the role of the Council on Environmental Quality and the Office of Management and Budget -- two offices with the most egregious warped science activities -- should be fixed, and the next President needs to make her efforts more public in all of these regards.

It's good to see Chris bringing these views to the literary-cultural-political readership of Harper's. I hope others might take a stroll to the bookstore and pick it up too.

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Some fellow with the inspellible name but the initial PZ appears in this week's New Scientist too. They're taking over!

This is the former employee in me speaking - it's NOAA, not NOAH.

By David Bruggeman (not verified) on 11 May 2007 #permalink

(but how do you know he wasn't referring to animal repopulation efforts, in vessels measured by cubits, in counts numbered by twos?)

"(but how do you know he wasn't referring to animal repopulation efforts, in vessels measured by cubits, in counts numbered by twos?)"

Because if he did, PZ Myers would be ripping Mooney a new one until the End Times for making religious allusions.

By David Bruggeman (not verified) on 12 May 2007 #permalink

I appreciate you bringing attention to my Harper's piece. Did you agree with the policy proposals?

indeed, i did. you think they'll happen? do we assume it'll take a democrat? or is it possible bush has been so especially destructive that it isn't entirely a "republican" thing that needs to be undone, but, as the magazine set it up, just a bush thing?

and i wondered about how they set up the premise of the piece for you. and did they edit anything out that you wanted to say?

In brief, Democrats have this kind of change as a priority. Republicans do not. So yes, I think the kinds of changes necessary probably need a Democrat to bring them about.

There was some give and take in the editing process--but yeah, the ideas in the piece are my own (although surely I'm quite influenced by other discussions that are going on around the science and politics issue). They certainly didn't edit out anything I wanted to say.