masthead-highres

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Scientists Whine, Humorously

A group of apparent lefties has formed a new 527 political organization, Scientists and Engineers for America, or SEFORA. According to the group's website, the organization intends to "elect new leadership" (of the government, apparently) and promote a "Bill of Rights for Scientists and Engineers."

Apparently, the regular Bill of Rights the rest of us live by is inadequate for certain self-selected segments of the population.

An examination of the proposed "Bill of Rights" on the group's website, however, finds a self-indulgent hodgepodge of vapidity.

For example, Right #1: "Federal policy shall be made using the best available science and analysis both from within the government and from the rest of society."

Well, duh. The trick is defining "best." Didn't they cover that in Ph.D. college?

Right #2: "The federal government shall never intentionally publish false or misleading scientific information nor post such material on federal websites."

"False" as defined by whom? The same people who apparently don't know the definition of the third word in "Bill of Rights"?

Right #5: "No scientists should fear reprisals or intimidation because of the results of their research."

While I am sure the global warming skeptic community appreciates the thought, folks, "fear" is a highly-individual reaction. To be effective, policies must address actions, not the content of emotional responses to them.

Right #6: "Appointments to federal scientific advisory committees shall be based on the candidate’s scientific qualifications, not political affiliation or ideology."

So someone who wants to nuke Israel should be appointed to nuclear policy boards? Avowed racists to Medicare health care panels? (As long as they got good grades and socialized well enough to get through the "peer" review process, of course.)

I propose a revision. New "Right" #6: Scientists with definable ideologies or discernible political affiliations should be barred from receiving federal grants.

Right #7: "The federal government shall not support any science education program that includes instruction in concepts that are derived from ideology and not science."

This would mean an end to teachers saying the global warming theory is correct in all public schools. Again, while the thought is appreciated, is this decision really best made at the federal level?

Much of the rest of the document is vaguely-worded pap that appears to be designed to maximize the ability of said scientists and engineers to feed themselves off the federal taxpayer while using the results of the work for their own financial and career aggrandizement as they see fit, subject only to disclosure rules they decide for themselves.

Clue in, guys. He who has the gold, makes the rules. If you don't like working for the federal taxpayer, or taking federal handouts, don't.

The best howler comes last, in Right #8: Deciding what scientific research is kept secret for national security reasons "shall be the result of a transparent process."

Transparent secrets save the scientists the trouble of leaking, I guess, but will the New York Times still take them out to lunch?

I conclude this is a parody site.

Good work, jokers!

Hat tip: Prometheus.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:29 PM

Copyright The National Center for Public Policy Research