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