Thursday, September 28, 2006

Guardians of the Enlightenment: Join SEFORA, promote the rationalist bill of rights

SEFORA is special interest group -- for scientists, engineers, and rationalists. Non-partisan, but it's obvious what's inspired them. My spouse and I have joined, even though we didn't make the illustrious first thousand. SEFORA (Scientists and Engineers for America) asks candidates to endorse a rationalist bill of rights -- and promotes candidates that sign up:

# Federal policy shall be made using the best available science and analysis both from within the government and from the rest of society.

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

# Scientists conducting research or analysis with federal funding shall be free to discuss and publish the results of unclassified research after a reasonable period of review without fear of intimidation or adverse personnel action.

# Federal employees reporting what they believe to be manipulation of federal research and analysis for political or ideological reasons should be free to bring this information to the attention of the public and shall be protected from intimidation, retribution or adverse personnel action by effective enforcement of Whistle Blower laws.

# No scientists should fear reprisals or intimidation because of the results of their research.

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

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

# While scientists may elect to withhold methods or studies that might be misused there shall be no federal prohibition on publication of basic research results. Decisions made about blocking the release of information about specific applied research and technologies for reasons of national security shall be the result of a transparent process. Classification decisions shall be made by trained professionals using a clear set of published criteria and there shall be a clear process for challenging decisions and a process for remedying mistakes and abuses of the classification system.
I can't imagine any Republican who could sign up for this, so SEFORA will inevitably be supporting Democrats.

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