Science

Beware 'Sound Science'

"When George W. Bush and members of his administration talk about environmental policy, the phrase 'sound science' rarely goes unuttered," Chris Mooney writes in the Washington Post. "On issues ranging from climate change to the storage of nuclear waste in Nevada's Yucca Mountain, our president has assured us that he's backing up his decisions with careful attention to the best available research. ...

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Bush's 'Sound Science' Means Spin & Censorship

The Bush administration loves to wrap itself in the mantle of "sound science," but as we've reported in our book Trust Us, We're Experts, "sound science" is a buzz-word for science with a pro-industry bias. Now, "More than 60 influential scientists, including 20 Nobel
laureates, issued a statement yesterday asserting that the
Bush administration had systematically distorted scientific

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Drug Researcher Continues To Challenge Industry Claims

A Canadian professor of pediatrics and medicine vows to continue speaking out on the risk of a drug used to treat thalassemia, a hereditary blood disorder. Dr. Nancy Olivieri lost her attempt to get her research on the harmful side effects of deferiprone looked at by the committee for proprietary and medicinal products (CPMP) that regulates drugs in Europe. "This ruling guarantees that only a drug company attempting to sell a drug will control the content of the scientific data submitted or not submitted to the European CPMP," she said.

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Drug Industry Spins Medical Journals Through Ghostwriters

"Hundreds of articles in medical journals claiming to be written by academics or doctors have been penned by ghostwriters in the pay of drug companies," the Observer reports. "The journals, bibles of the profession, have huge influence on which drugs doctors prescribe and the treatment hospitals provide. But The Observer has uncovered evidence that many articles written by so-called independent academics may have been penned by writers working for agencies which receive huge sums from drug companies to plug their products.

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Scientist Resigns Over EPA's 'Wetlands Pollute' Study

"A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency biologist has resigned in protest of his agency's acceptance of a developer-financed study concluding that wetlands discharge more pollutants than they absorb, according to a statement released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). EPA's approval of the study gives developers credit for improving water quality by replacing natural wetlands with golf courses and other developments. ...

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Bush Covers Up Climate Research

"White House officials have undermined their own government scientists' research into climate change to play down the impact of global warming," Paul Harris reports in the Observer. "Emails and internal government documents obtained by The Observer show that officials have sought to edit or remove research warning that the problem is serious.

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"Media Plan" Nearly Incinerated

Officials with the British Ministry of Defence were preparing to destroy a "media plan" about Dr. David Kelly three days after his death, according to a the Telegraph. "It is not clear whether the papers were burned, but MoD officials admitted last night that ministry security guards called the police after finding the 'media plan' relating to the Kelly affair in a sack of classified waste being prepared for incineration," the paper reported.

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Don't Worry, It's Safe to Eat

Investigative journalist and PR Watch contributor Andrew Rowell's new book, Don't Worry -- It's Safe to Eat, exposes the hidden links between scientists, corporations and the government that have warped policy on three potent issues: genetic engineering (GE), BSE and Foot and Mouth disease. Rowell documents how politicians and corporate spin doctors have twisted the public health debate, allowing for inadequate and flawed regulation of the food industry.

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Defending Science

Ten years ago, on June 28, 1993, the U.S. Supreme Court issued "the most influential ruling you've never heard of," says the Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy. In the case known as Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., they directing judges to act as "gatekeepers" in the courtroom, excluding expert testimony if they deemed it was "junk science." "But what started as a well-intentioned attempt to ensure reliable and relevant evidentiary science has had troubling consequences. ...

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