Top Scientists Accuse Bush Administration of Distorting Science

The Bush administration, reeling from a series of unflattering stories and unfavorable poll numbers, took another kick in the pants yesterday when 60 of the world’s most influential scientists — including 20 Nobel laureates and 19 recipients of the National Medal of Science — accused the administration in an open letter of systematically distorting scientific research and misleading the public about the likely results of its policies. In an accompanying report, the Union of Concerned Scientists detailed numerous instances in which the administration has suppressed scientific results, gagged its own science officials, and replaced independent scientists on its research panels with industry representatives. John Marburger, chief of the White House Office of Science and Technology, dismissed the criticisms as a “conspiracy report” and explained that the real problem was not distortions of science but his failure to “communicate” effectively with scientists.