Monday, July 12, 2004

The New York Times > Scientists Say White House Questioned Their Politics

The New York Times > Washington > Scientists Say White House Questioned Their Politics:
"In a report released yesterday, a scientific advocacy group cited more instances of what it called the Bush administration's manipulation of science to fit its policy goals, including the questioning of nominees to scientific advisory panels about whether they had voted for President Bush.…"

Dr. Kurt Gottfried, an emeritus professor of physics at Cornell University and the chairman of the scientists group, said that the administration's actions could cause researchers to leave the government.

"You can destroy that in a matter of years and then it can take another generation or two to get back to where you were in the first place," Dr. Gottfried said during a conference call with reporters yesterday.

Dr. Gerald T. Keusch said that frustration led him to resign last year from the directorship of the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Keusch said the procedure for appointing members of advisory panels changed markedly with the change of administrations in 2001.

Dr. Keusch, who became director in 1998, said that before Mr. Bush took office, he proposed candidates and if the director of the National Institutes of Heath approved, officials at the Department of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration invariably signed off on the nomination. But under the Bush administration, he said, Secretary Tommy G. Thompson's office rejected 19 of 26 candidates, including Dr. Torsten Wiesel, a Nobel laureate.

Dr. Keusch said that when he questioned the rejection, he was told that Dr. Wiesel had signed too many statements critical of Mr. Bush.
con·cept: The New York Times > Scientists Say White House Questioned Their Politics