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     As is my routine, I periocially check the New Scientist website for the latest in Science.  For those who've never heard of New Scientist, it's a weekly print magazine that covers literally every field of science in a very accessible style written by people who actually understand science. (The print version is something I'll subscribe to in a minute if I ever hit the lottery.) The web site is especially good for breaking news.
   Apologies if it's already been mentioned here, but this article caught my eye: Scientists look to place a pro-science president From their website:
Today a group of scientists and concerned citizens launch a new organization, Scientists and Engineers for America, dedicated to electing public officials who respect evidence and understand the importance of using scientific and engineering advice in making public policy.

     It is painful to look over recent American history and realize how many policy decisions have been made by people whose understanding of science is sadly lacking. It's even more disturbing to see and hear those who actively denounce science for whatever reasons (greed, ignorance, fear, religious dogma, etc.) working to bring a new Dark Age to the world while seeking to overturn the Enlightenment.
       There is almost no issue before the nation that does not impinge upon science in some fashion. Scientists and Engineers for America is a response to a deliberate effort to render science an 'inconvenient truth'. Again from the SEA website:
The principal role of the science and technology community is to advance human understanding.  But there are times when this is not enough.  Scientists and engineers have a right, indeed an obligation, to enter the political debate when the nation's leaders systematically ignore scientific evidence and analysis, put ideological interests ahead of scientific truths, suppress valid scientific evidence and harass and threaten scientists for speaking honestly about their research.

 We ask every American who values scientific integrity in decision-making to join us in endorsing a basic Bill of Rights for Scientists and Engineers.  Together we will elect new leadership beginning in 2006, and we will continue to work to elect reasonable leadership in federal, state and local elections for years to come.

America needs your help. Will you join us?

        Again, apologies if this has been posted already. If so, I missed it. Please recommend this diary so it will stay up long enough for the word to get out. Check out the Bill of Rights for Scientists and Engineers, sign the petition, and join up if you feel so inclined - because this is part of the Good Fight! Check out these news items to see for yourself. The battle lines are already being drawn.

Originally posted to xaxnar on Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 10:23 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (20+ / 0-)

    Praise, Brickbats, Quibbles - let 'er rip.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 10:21:39 AM PDT

    •  science and politics (8+ / 0-)

      As someone in the sciences, I have witnessed the very real effect that the 20% cuts in federal research grants has had upon the lab I am in and every lab around us. I have also watched  universities try to figure out ways to perform important basic research in a maze of poorly thought out restrictions. I can think of few professions that are more directly impacted by politics than research...

      The good news is, I don't think I've met a single person in the department that has a good word to say about the current administration.

      •  Gore's '92 book, Earth in the Balance, demon ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Gore's book from way back in '92, Earth in the Balance, demonstrated that he does respect evidence and does understand science and is a very compassionate thoughtful leader.

        I applaud the purpose of SEA enthusiasticaly, and I suggest they get behind a "draft Al for '08" movement?   Also, in the meantime, how about lobbying all those who HAVE declared their candidacy with evidence and information? Starting now. That way, whoever wins the nomination will be more aware than they are today.

        Hell, try and bring McCain back into reality-based thinking too - he has a lot of daily influences pushing him the fantasy-world direction.  

        Just my thoughts :-)  Rick


      •  here's to hoping they don't make mistakes such as (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...going overtly partisan, or going hardcore atheist.  

        What they need to do is establish a platform that enables them to be relatively bipartisan, so they don't get pigeonholed.  

        And about religion they should endorse pluralism and separation of church & state.  There are some outspoken atheists in the science community (e.g. The God Delusion) and they do us no good when they get into the "we're smarter than all those believers..." routine.  

        That being said, it's definitely time to call out some of the BS that goes into policy via religion.  For example, it's not a LIFE, and it's not a baby, it's a clump of cells until it has a working brain!  Not to mention the creationist nonsense in disguise.  

        Anyway, I'll check it out.  Wonder if it's open to geeks who became engineers the old-fashioned way, by building stuff and working their butts off rather than by getting the degree.  That would be a decent majority of the Silicon Valley & Bay Area geek crowd.

        •  Open Door Policy (0+ / 0-)

             I suspect anyone with an open mind who respects their Bill of Rights is more than welcome. As for being accused of partisanship, well that's what it's all about. To paraphrase Colbert, scientists and engineers have a serious bias towards reality-based thinking.

          "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

          by xaxnar on Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 08:17:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It has indeed been diaried before. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But never mind that. It was some time back and most certainly bears repeating.

  •  This sounds like the 'Science Candidate' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in Kim Stanley Robinson's 'Forty Signs of Rain'.

    Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

    by Benito on Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 10:26:35 AM PDT

  •  Interesting article here (4+ / 0-)

    Called "Scientists on the Stump" at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (from 2004). Worth checking out. Last paragraph:

    Despite their subsequent frustration with Johnson's Vietnam policies, the scientists' extraordinary mobilization against Goldwater and forceful repudiation of his nuclear and foreign policy extremism offer a powerful demonstration of the political influence scientists can wield in American society. Those committed to defeating the latest expression of Republican extremism cannot take much comfort in scientists' relative quiescence in the 2004 elections. Perhaps we will see an upsurge in the final weeks of the campaign.

    Thanks for the diary.

    Speaking as a scientist, etc.
    12,615+ days without shooting anybody in the face.

    by abw on Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 10:26:55 AM PDT

  •  I *never* thought I'd see the day... (7+ / 0-)

    that science was politicized to the point where scientists and engineers would openly take a stand as scientists and engineers on politics and science policy in such an open way.  I'm VERY VERY happy they (and I intend to join them) have.

    I wouldn't believe Bush if his tongue became notarized (h/t to shanti2)

    by billlaurelMD on Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 10:40:50 AM PDT

  •  I signed up a week or two ago (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, Nightprowlkitty

    SEA was mentioned last week by that most authoritative of pundits, Stephen Colbert.  Click the link for a YouTube clip of "The Word".

    At least one of the people to whom I forwarded the message from SEA immediately added his name to their membership rolls.

    You're only young once, but you can be immature forever -- Larry Andersen
    Blogging at Peace Tree Farm

    by N in Seattle on Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 10:51:11 AM PDT

    •  About Colbert (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      N in Seattle

      Yup, they've got a link to Colbert on their site already too.

      Meanwhile, let's everyone forward news of SEA to those who would be interested.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 08:19:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  you're right! that is lack of understanding and (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, splashy, G2geek, murasaki, xaxnar

    total disregard as in little Bushie's case, who has censors go over government scientific reports and change everything he is trying to hide from the people.
      Despite that, the truth is getting out. I hope these people actively come out and campaign for Al Gore to run in 08!

    Repug credo: If you can't Dazzle them with Brilliance Baffle them with Bullshit!

    by jmsjoin on Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 10:58:20 AM PDT

  •  After they get a pro-Science candidate in office (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    N in Seattle, SecondComing

    can they please invent a physics-driven time warp machine that will expunge the last 6+ years from record?

    Seriously, it's incredible how divorced from reality the junta in Washington is. And how much they want to supress discoveries in reality, since that diverges from their scenario.

    I live with an engineer. Such techno-geek people are normally so focused in on solving the technical problems they are working on, they rarely look beyond to the rest of society.

    It really says something that it's caught their attention to the point that they are organizing in alarm.

    Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

    by murasaki on Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 11:01:27 AM PDT

  •  Who would have ever thought.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That people would have to band together in order to elect a President that actually believes in Science as opposed to freaking fairy tales.

    Somebody wake me up when this nightmare is over.

    This world needs a bigger, drier pretzel -8.88 -5.08

    by SecondComing on Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 12:02:24 PM PDT

  •  It's not just that their understanding is lacking (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashy, xaxnar

    After all, most pols are not scientists and vice versa. But decisions on medical, scientific and technological matters are made without consulting those who are knowledgeable about the subjects, and frequently against the recommendations of knowledgeable people.

    •  Then again... (0+ / 0-)

          I think it's even simpler than that in some cases. People hear what they want to hear and see what they want to see. They deliberately and sometimes quite knowingly chose to ignore all else. Liberals can be just as guilty of this as conservatives.
          Sometimes there is no clear-cut answer, and a politician has to make a decision based on what is politically achievable, or because an answer has to be chosen before there's time to find all the answers.
           The second case is excusable - especially if there is an honest willingness to revisit a decision when better answers become available, or it becomes clear something is not working.
           The first case is not excusable, not in the long run and sometimes not in the short run either.
               There's a whole branch of science fiction literature about this - here's a few favorites I've run across.  "Stupidity is a capital crime." A corollary for observers seeing this principle in effect is: "Think of it as evolution in action." And there's always "Natural laws know no pity."
            I think one of the best summations is from Kipling; read the story above and then the poem below. Even better, especially for engineers, is this link to another Kipling work, "The Sons of Martha." plus the other articles of faith for engineers.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 08:54:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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