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Happy New Year,
Science

Happy New Year,
Science

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The time has come for Bush's willful rejection of scientific research to end.

During the 2004 presidential campaign, more than 6,000 scientists, including nearly two dozen Nobel Prize winners, signed a report criticizing the Bush administration's suppression of science. The White House's own scientists were being muffled when their findings ran counter to the Administration's political agenda, the group charged. Scientific advisory panels were being stacked with people who held fringe viewpoints, had ties to industry, or distorted scientific data to suit Administration policy objectives.

"At high levels of government, the Administration's political agenda has permeated the traditionally objective, nonpartisan mechanisms through which the government uses scientific knowledge in forming and implementing public policy," the report stated.

Bush won reelection, and the suppression of science, including evidence of global warming and the failure of "abstinence-only" sex education programs, continued. In fact, abstinence-only programs are expanding. In a stupefying display of ideological bullheadedness, the Bush administration is now targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only initiative. Until now, the programs, which have been widely discredited by the scientific community, have focused on preteens and teens, teaching them that abstaining from sex is the only effective or acceptable method to prevent pregnancy or disease. Abstinence-only programs have received hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money under

Republican leadership, and the Bush administration is asking Congress for more in 2007.

But those requests might no longer be so easily granted. We're looking forward to the rejection of Bush's medieval treatment of scientific advances by the newly empowered Democratic Congress and the application of real science in determining whether programs such as abstinence-only get funded with our tax dollars--especially since they exclude gays and lesbians by teaching that sex is best left for those who get legally married. And we're heartened by the many Christians who are taking Bush to task for his pro-industry dismissal of global warming and his suffocation of stem cell research programs.

Indeed, the encroachment of politics into scientific research is a transgression that many of us--gay or straight, Christian or non-Christian--can agree is wrong. And a New Year that welcomes scientific progress should be a cause celebre for all of us.

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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