Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Science And Politics

As a scientist who is also interested in politics, it infuriates me when people either misinterpret good science or blatantly practice bad science in the name of a political cause. The spirit of the scientific method is to help reach conclusions without emotional biases. I have no patience for those that would sully that spirit in an effort to confuse and manipulate public opinion.

A past transgression that has for some reason been getting recent press is a Lancet study that suggests there have been over 100,000 civilian Iraqi casualties. This study has been widely debunked as nothing more than a political farce that came out during the last presidential election in a (thankfully failed) effort to damage Bush. And I say thankfully failed because I cannot abide false claims being used as political weapons. There were and are abundant and justifiable reasons not to be a supporter of President Bush; resorting to fabrications should not be tolerated. Yet do a search on "Lancet Iraqi casualties" and you'll find dozens of sources treating the conclusions of the study as hard fact.

For those interested, a thorough debunking of the study can be found here, here, here and here.

To be clear, my distaste for the abuse of science is not partisan in nature. I'm equally disapproving of this conduct by the EPA, where they apparently knowingly hide data that doesn't support the administration's agenda.

Let science be science and politics be politics.

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