Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The price of criticism: Science and the Bushies

Just another small example of the Bush culture of loyalty:
Uncertain Principles: Loose Lips Sink Research Grants:

... this year's talk by a program director from the Department of Energy raised the average blood pressure at our table by a good bit.

... she took pains to state several times that both Democrats and Republicans in Congress support science, in a tone that basically came across as chiding us for thinking otherwise. That was annoying by itself, but at the very end of the talk, she specifically warned against taking partisan positions, citing the letter supporting John Kerry that was signed by a couple dozen Nobel laureates as something that made it harder to keep science funding. She said that after that, when she met with administration officials about budget matters, she could see them thinking 'Damn scientists...'
I suspect this would be quite familiar to any Soviet-era scientist. Criticism has a price. Just another brick in the wall ...

It's noteworthy because the Bush culture of loyalty has settled far down into our government. It's a spreading poison ...

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