A No-Show in Politics

Whining and righteousness get you no place in politics. Nevertheless, those are the pop-gun responses of mainstream science to the Bush administration's persistent moves to stack federal science-advisory committees with appointees friendly to its conservative agenda. Here and there, a protesting letter to the editor, a bit of irate testimony on Capitol Hill, preachments to the faithful via an editorial in Science. But when it comes to real politics--raising money and running ads for friendly

Daniel Greenberg
Feb 9, 2003

Whining and righteousness get you no place in politics. Nevertheless, those are the pop-gun responses of mainstream science to the Bush administration's persistent moves to stack federal science-advisory committees with appointees friendly to its conservative agenda. Here and there, a protesting letter to the editor, a bit of irate testimony on Capitol Hill, preachments to the faithful via an editorial in Science. But when it comes to real politics--raising money and running ads for friendly candidates, ringing doorbells, propagandizing the public--science is a no-show on the political landscape, in last November's Congressional elections, as in past elections. Not so lawyers, teachers, physicians, real-estate agents, pharmaceutical drug manufacturers, loan sharks, and polluters. In science and healthcare politics, the administration remains virtually unchallenged, and it's moving aggressively on many fronts.

That means appointees opposed to abortion, family planning, and sex counseling beyond the charming notion of abstinence until marriage in sex-charged...

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