Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Science under Siege

A new report released by the ACLU details the way science is under siege by the Bush Administration. It is startling how much they are limiting access to information and equipment that is commonly used by scientists doing basic research. The press release from the ACLU points out the following issues as the main points in their report...

The report, Science Under Siege, connects the dots between several different areas where misguided government policies are affecting science. Among the abuses the ACLU examines in the report are:

  • moves to overclassify information and designate whole areas of research as "sensitive but unclassified;"
  • outright censorship and prescreening of scientific articles before publication;
  • exclusion of foreign students from access to research projects;
  • suppression of environmental and public health information; and
  • increased restrictions on materials and technology commonly used in basic scientific research.

So what's the big point here? That scientific process needs the free flow of talent and information in order to make progress. The Bush administration (almost by definition) suppresses the free flow of information and excludes foreign talent by over zealous use of the Patriot Act.