September 30, 2004

Bush 'abused' science

Missouri Daily 9/29/04

Washington - US scientists, including 10 Nobel laureates, have launched a campaign in key US states to denounce the policies of President George W Bush.

The group, Scientists and Engineers for Change, was created at the beginning of the week, said its spokesperson, Joy Howell.

The 25 members of the organisation has scheduled a series of conferences, during which they will try to convince their audiences that the Bush administration has abused science, Howell said.

The scientists will speak in states including Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia and Wisconsin, where Bush could be beaten by Democratic rival John Kerry.

"This administration's politicisation and misuse of science have made it increasingly difficult for science to play its rightful role in public policy-making," the group said on its website,

Posted by jmellicant at 05:24 PM

Nobel laureates bash Bush

Washington Times 9/28/04

WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- A group of U.S. Nobel Prize winners for science and leaders in engineering is campaigning against President Bush in key battleground states.

The group calls itself Scientists and Engineers for Change and includes Douglas Osheroff, winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize in physics and Vint Cerf, chairman of ICANN and the principal architect of the Internet.

The group said its members are concerned the management of science and engineering are being drowned out in the election debate and says it opposes the Bush administration's science and technology policies. Its members have launched a speaking tour in the battleground states of Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Posted by jmellicant at 05:22 PM

Scientists Begin a Campaign to Oppose President's Policies

New York Times 9/28/04


While Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews and other rock stars sing on a "Vote for Change" concert tour, another disgruntled group - this one of scientists - will crisscross the well-worn landscape of battleground states over the next month, giving lectures that will argue that the Bush administration has ignored and misused science.

The group, Scientists and Engineers for Change, another addition to the flood of so-called 527 advocacy groups that have filled this year's election discourse, announced its existence and plans yesterday in a telephone news conference. At least 25 scientists will give talks in 10 contested states: Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oregon, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Among the headlining lecturers are 10 Nobel Prize winners, including Dr. Douglas D. Osheroff, a professor of physics at Stanford; Dr. Peter C. Agre, a professor of biological chemistry at Johns Hopkins; and Dr. Harold Varmus, former director of the National Institutes of Health.

Compared with more prominent 527's, like MoveOn PAC and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the scientists' group will operate on a modest budget of $100,000, which will mainly pay for lecturers' travel expenses.

The group has no direct ties to the campaign of Senator John Kerry, the Democratic nominee, but 9 members were among 48 Nobel laureates who signed a June 21 letter endorsing Mr. Kerry. Several of the scientists have also signed a statement from the Union of Concerned Scientists that accuses the Bush administration of manipulating scientific findings to support its policies. The union opposes the administration on numerous issues, including the environment and energy.

At the news conference, Dr. Vinton G. Cerf, one of the architects of the Internet in the 1960's and 1970's and current chairman of Icann, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, said, "Science counts, and it has not counted sufficiently in this administration."

Dr. Cerf said he was a registered Republican, but that he joined the group "in the hope that we bring debate, science and technology, into the political debate so that the electorate understands the importance that it has in our society."

Dr. Cerf said the United States was "at risk of losing the edge" in technology because the Bush administration was cutting basic research budgets at the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Robert Hopkins, a spokesman for the Office of Science and Technology Policy, disputed that opinion. "I don't know where their accounting is coming from," Mr. Hopkins said. "The president has been a strong and generous supporter of science, increasing federal R&D budgets 44 percent to a record $132 billion."

The administration's policies on energy and global warming prompted Dr. Osheroff to take part. "I am not a Democrat and I have never played a significant role in politics," he said. "We must begin to address climate change now. To do so, we must have an administration that listens to the scientific community, not one that manipulates and minimizes scientific input."

Dr. Osheroff, who is scheduled to give the first lecture tonight at the University of Oregon, said he did not plan to explicitly urge his audience to vote for Mr. Kerry.

"At the end of my talk,'' he said, "I think people hopefully will be convinced that this administration is not doing an adequate job, that they're just not listening to scientists on these issues, that it's basically business as usual. I think people can decide how important that issue is, by themselves."

Dr. Cerf interjected: "Well, actually, Doug, let's be honest about this. The name of this group is Scientists and Engineers for Change. Now, what do you imagine we want to change?"

Posted by jmellicant at 05:20 PM

Administration's Use of Science Challenged

Washington Post 9/28/04 p. A15

"A group of high-profile scientists and engineers, including 10 Nobel laureates and a former National Science Foundation director, announced it had created a political committee to inform the public about what it calls weaknesses in the Bush administration's handling of science.

Scientists and Engineers for Change -- a 521 organization, named in reference to its tax code status -- is the latest group to make the case that on issues such as stem cell research, energy, public health and the environment, President Bush has ignored science that runs counter to the interests of his religious or business supporters.

"The current administration isn't paying attention to science. It's paying attention to ideology," said Vint Cerf, widely regarded as a chief architect of the Internet and a founding member of the group.

Cerf said in a telephone news conference that technology would be central to national security but that the administration is undercutting the nation's scientific edge. Cerf said he is a registered Republican."

Scientists in the group intend to speak in swing states to compare the science agendas of Bush and Democrat John F. Kerry. Details are at

Posted by jmellicant at 05:16 PM

Bipartisan Slate of Scientists Begins Speaking Tour Today

USA Today 09/28/04 p.6 D

"Leading scientists and engineers critical of the Bush administration's science policies Monday unveiled plans for a speaking tour in 10 voter battleground states. A bipartisan speaker's slate that includes 10 Nobel Prize winners as well as former federal health and science officials, “Scientists and Engineers for Change” will kick off its first talk today at the University of Oregon. The subject: global warming. “The current administration isn't paying attention to science,” says spokesman Vint Cerf, a former defense research official. The group's complaints follow a Union of Concerned Scientists report critical of the administration's handling of science in areas ranging from global warming to public health. John Marburger, who heads the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy, has defended the administration's science policies and called accusations of politicized science “wrong and misleading.”"

Posted by jmellicant at 05:12 PM