It is "inappropriate" to ask scientists being considered for federal government advisory committees their political affiliations, voting records, or positions on particular policies, according to a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report released yesterday (November 17). Scientists, engineers, and health professionals nominated to serve on government advisory committees "should be selected for their scientific and technical knowledge and credentials and their professional and personal integrity," said John E. Porter, chairman of the NAS panel.

The report was met with praise by at least one group that has criticized the Bush administration for its scientific appointments process. "We are very pleased that they made the recommendation for members of advisory committees not to be asked inappropriate questions about their political affiliation and voting record," said Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. "Now it's incumbent on the administration and Congress to respond and take action...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!