Again, more White House science suppression

By Phil Plait | September 26, 2006 6:06 pm

Will it ever end?

I wonder. How much of this do we have to take before people get the picture?

The above report is interesting, as it does sow some confusion over what’s going on. Unfortunately, I didn’t see anything on Nature’s website. If anyone finds out more, please post the info in the comments!


Comments (18)

  1. ATM

    Unfortunately, this may never end. Science that disagrees with an administrations policies will quickly find itself suppressed, even moreso under this administration. When will politicians understand that they can’t sway reality to agree with their politics, but that politics must sway to reality?

  2. jrkeller


    I’d be cautious in using Yahoo as source for anything.

    From the link below, it is clear that current administration does not block everything. In fact, this link more or less confirms the NOAA findings as reported by Yahoo.

  3. I don’t trust Yahoo at all; I’ve written about their atrocious science articles. But this was from the AP. Unfortunately, the Nature article is only for subscribers. I’ll see if my boss is around tomorrow and maybe I can read it off her screen.

  4. Tim G

    NOAA now says the report was not blocked. Here is a slightly different article.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration disputed Tuesday’s Nature article, saying there was not a report but a two-page fact sheet about the topic. The information was to be included in a press kit to be distributed in May as the annual hurricane season approached but wasn’t ready.

    “The document wasn’t done in time for the rollout,” NOAA spokesman Jordan St. John said in responding to the Nature article. “The White House never saw it, so they didn’t block it.”

  5. Tim G

    That should read NOAA now says a report was not blocked

  6. “warming _may_ be having an effect”

    Well I don’t think even the most ardent global warming skeptic could disagree with that ūüėé

    As far as we can tell at the moment, almost anything “may be having an effect”. Think of butterflies and weather

  7. Grand Lunar

    Who needs conspiracy theories? The real deal is just as bad!
    Ah, if only more so called “truth seekers” would focus on the supression issues than dreaming up other ways the govt tries to control information.

    Let’s hope we get a more reasonable person in office next time.

  8. The Ghost Of Tookie

    >> When will politicians understand that they can√Ę‚ā¨‚ĄĘt sway
    >> reality to agree with their politics

    When will citizens realize the politicians know this full well, but don’t care?

    >> Let√Ę‚ā¨‚ĄĘs hope we get a more reasonable person in office next time.

    Wow. What parallel Earth did you slide in from? Not going to happen.

    Of course, “more reasonable person” might translate to “someone who drinks my brand of ideological poison”. Hey, I tease. :)

  9. philw

    Unfortunately, as usual you need some modicum of skepticism on such reports that fit your narrow world view. Yes, this administration has shown disfunctional attitudes to some areas of science. On the other hand, too often ideology, political agenda and simple desire for grant funding influences science. This recently visible attitude can sour the public on the supposed impartiality of scientists. Science practised as defined is impartial, scientists often are not. They are people with beliefs, agendas and needs. This would be a better blog if the knee jerk ideology were toned down about 10dB.

  10. Grand Lunar

    -“Wow. What parallel Earth did you slide in from? Not going to happen.”

    Well, I don’t recall the Clinton administration doing the same stuff that Bush’s is. Granted, Clinton didn’t support anything to do with nuclear power (technically, that’s science, right?), but I never heard of his people supressing information.

    That’s the aim I was going for: someone that doesn’t practice repression of science.

  11. Gerrsun

    I, for one, await the coming coup of the United States by the scientific community. It is way past time for this nation to be led by the scientific method and not political monkey-shines!

    I believe the first steps are already in play as semanticians debate the proper terminology for what sort of political action will be undertaken, (coup, overthrow, palace revolution, power play, putsch, rebellion, revolt, revolution, takeover) and the exact meanings of each.

    Once this is determined, a committee will be formed to elect a committee to determine what the best course of action will be to pursue said ‘coup’. This committee will evaluate the vitae of every scientist on the planet to create a diverse think-tank capable of providing acceptable and workable solution to gaining control of the government of the US.

    Once this committee has been formed they will have 6 months to develop research proposals for how best to implement the ‘coup’. This is of course dependent upon funding through the NSF or NIH depending on whether the proposal can somehow be tied to Homeland Security.

    Once funded these proposals will be thorougly researched and 2 years later the results will be written up and published in numerous peer-reviewed articles. Two years is an estimate of research writeup, YMMV.

    Fifty years later when the scientific community, except for that one holdout, has come to agree upon all the recommendations, they will be submitted to the SinoAmerican Academy for Scientific Advancement for funding to determine the feasability of implementing said research.

    The proposal will be initially rejected as the term ‘coup’ is no longer the proper word to use, but a simple substitution of ‘cheese over’ for ‘coup’ clears the way.

    3 Years later the SAASA passed the proposed plan for overthrowing the United States via the scientific method and it proceeds to the Finance department for funding.

    10 years later, funding is approved along with a rider bill for August 1st as World Kang and Kodoss Day in honor of the green skinned invaders.

    It is at this point that everything is clear for the overthrow of the US except that the entire nation hasa been turned into a museum visited only occasionally by solar travelers on their way to Mercury.

  12. BMurray

    Let√Ę‚ā¨‚ĄĘs hope we get a more reasonable person in office next time.

    Democracies are not run on hope, they are run by citizens that take up the burden of being citizens.

  13. philw, as you may note, I wrote that the article doesn’t make clear what’s going on. And as a scientist and a skeptic and someone who is watching this Administration destroy scientific integrity whenever they get the chance, I sometimes think I’m not political enough on this blog. I actually don’t talk about a lot of issues that concern me because I don’t have time, or I’m not as well-versed in the issues as I’d like to be (again because of time issues).

    As this issues expands, expect more from me, not less.

  14. TheBlackCat

    Quite timely, Science and Engineers for America was officially unveiled today. Their Bill of Rights for Scientists and Engineers demands exactly the sort of thing Phil has been demanding for a long time.

  15. How anyone who beleives in science, human rights or for that matter honesty or common sense can even consider voting Republican is beyond me.

    I’d vote ’em out but I’m Australian so I just get your policies second hand from our not-so-very independent government.

    Remember Americans people in your satellite states (eg. Oz, England) are counting on you to think before you vote for once. :-(

    Good on you BA – keep up the good fight & thanks.

  16. Thought for the day – imagine if the people in thenations Americas controls either by force (Iraq, Afghanistan) or “diplomatic” power (if that’s the right word for our nations meek subsumation to your interests) could vote in your Presidential elections.

    It’d _almost_ be worth becoming a US state to vote Bush out and get someone other than Howard in .. ūüėČ


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