The Value of Science: Bush's Actions Speak Louder Than His Words

Does anyone else find it ironic that President Bush is now calling for more science education when his administration has worked overtime altering scientific reports and muzzling science advisors on issues such as global warming?

I wonder how this makes our current crop of scientists feel -- scientists like James Hansen of NASA, who has been so grossly harassed, or those who've had their work hacked up by non-scientists like Philip Cooney, the oilman who rewrote an entire climate report denuding it of its urgent conclusions.

I spoke to scientist Stephen Schneider of Stanford who told me: "It is more than a bit ironic that George W. Bush rightly announces that we should decouple from our addiction to foreign oil -- yet his administration fiercely opposes rules on the gas mileage of vehicles. No less ironic is his call for science education when his administration is probably the all-time leader in misrepresenting sound science on topics like climatology, cosmology and stem cell research." Schneider's colleague, Princeton scientist Michael Oppenheimer, agreed: "What radiates from this administration is the sense that science doesn't matter... If you are a young person thinking about learning science so you can use your career to make the world a better place, the message from Washington is, 'Don't bother. We are not listening.'" Harsh but true words from those in the scientific trenches.

Memo to the White House: if you're looking to inspire tomorrow's scientific thinkers, your actions speak way louder than your words.