Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Bag it

John Kerry has been hammering Bush on science policy. He takes his cue from a recent statement of the Union of Concerned Scientists that says in part: "When scientific knowledge has been found to be in conflict with its political goals, the administration has often manipulated the process through which science enters into its decisions."

This theme is reiterated in an editorial by David Baltimore, president of Cal Tech, in Science, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, this nation's premier scientific organization.

AIDS prevention, climate change, and stem cell research are areas of public policy where the Bush administration has purportedly let politics override scientific research.

For example, stopping the catastrophic spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa and Asia should be a high American priority. Abstinence and fidelity surely help, but the ready availability and use of condoms is acknowledged by all relevant international agencies to be the only safe and effective remedy -- a course of action which the present administration has been slow to support, presumably in deference to the religious right.