Policies on AIDS, recreational drugs and a warming world are struggling their way through Congress at the moment; they always seem to emerge slimmer on the science once they’ve made it through the endless committees, discussions and debates. If you’re in the New York area, you might pick up some tips on why from this interesting-looking debate from the Science Communication Consortium at City University.
If you can’t get there, this very good report from the BBC might give you a clue. It focuses on the Bush administration’s uneasy relationship with science. Some White House flunky calls potential scientific advisers to ask them how they voted in the last election. Disturbing, but we’ve seen political vetting of scientists in other places (China, for example, Cuba, the Soviet Union). What’s more disturbing to me is that an American scientist would feel compelled to answer such a question.