Fighting the Republican War on Science: A Question of Balance

Chris Mooney's "The Republican War on Science" showed up on my desk recently. The book traces the rise of the Republican Party's split with science, from its roots in the supersonic transport debate in the Nixon administration, to George W. Bush's assault on science today, covering science issues from Reagan's "Star Wars" initiative to "intelligent design," global warming to stem cells.From what I read Mooney seems to come across as a bit of a zealot. In the first chapter, for instance, he w

Jeff Perkel
Oct 16, 2005
Chris Mooney's "The Republican War on Science" showed up on my desk recently. The book traces the rise of the Republican Party's split with science, from its roots in the supersonic transport debate in the Nixon administration, to George W. Bush's assault on science today, covering science issues from Reagan's "Star Wars" initiative to "intelligent design," global warming to stem cells.From what I read Mooney seems to come across as a bit of a zealot. In the first chapter, for instance, he writes, "In fact, in politicized fights involving science, it is rare to find liberals entirely innocent of abuses. But they are almost never as guilty as the Right." Such sweeping statements diminish the power of his otherwise well-researched arguments -- the book has fully 60 pages of notes -- not to mention its ability to swing moderates to Mooney's point of view. (Mea culpa, I wasn't able to...

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