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Science on anti-GOP bias of the NAS

Science Insider has printed a courageous article about the left-wing bias of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences yesterday:

A Partisan Look at U.S. Science Policy
The academy invited the former and current science advisers to the U.S. presidents to a symposium. All of the attendants turned out to be Democrats who served for Democrats, starting from Frank Press who served for Jimmy Carter.

How is that possible? Haven't there been some Republican U.S. presidents after Carter, too?

John Marburger – who was a physicist and a Democrat himself but who served to George W. Bush – may be forgiven: he died in 2011. In the same way, Allan Bromley who worked for George H.W. Bush, died in 2005. But there has been at least one more Republican president after Carter, right? Don't you remember his name?

His name was Ronald Reagan.

When he was asked why this guy's science adviser wasn't invited, the current NAS president and a namesake of Marcus Tullius Cicero replied rather arrogantly that "they didn't want to go that far" (after all, Carter is much closer to them). And that's despite the fact that George Keyworth, the adviser, is not only alive but he represented many of the key and worthy values of science and the major positive developments in the world's history of the late 20th century.

First, Keyworth, a physicist, was an important spokesman who was defending Reagan's Star Wars against some critics, including the communists within the U.S. scientific community. The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was an important player that helped the democratic world to defeat the Soviet bloc – which got overheated in the arms races and decided to surrender. Paradoxically enough, this defeat was followed by the explosion of Marxists and other leftist activists within the U.S. scientific community itself.

But Keyworth wasn't about the Star Wars only. (I don't want to discuss his recent membership in the Hewlett-Packard board which ended after Keyworth was too open about the Hewlett-Packard internal data.) He insisted on the value of the basic research. That's why he has also been a backer of Reagan's collider, the 40 TeV proton-proton collider with circumference of 87 kilometers, the Superconducting Supercollider. (The LHC may be viewed as an SSC divided by three and thank God for that.) The collider project got stopped by the U.S. Congress in 1993 during the Clinton-Gore administration.

However, those were not the only activities he was doing. Already in the 1980s, Keyworth noticed the growing infatuation with applied research, especially with ill-defined multidisciplinary research projects. All of us see the amazing cancer that has grown out of this obsession (research which, when done properly, doesn't really need to be funded by the government at all) – as well as the dropping attention to the basic research (where the role of the governments is justified). Keyworth is now sorry that he couldn't do more in the fight against this harmful trend before it was too late.

Keyworth surely wanted to be invited to the symposium of the U.S. presidential science advisers. He wasn't invited as the National Academy of Sciences has increasingly resembled the Soviet institutions in the recent decades. Ideologically biased leftists are everywhere. So instead of Keyworth, the Science Magazine observes, the symposium was full of worthless and colorless "blend-into-the-background" leftists who have had nothing to say.

(Of course, if I don't count John Holdren's musings about the need to sterilize the mankind and barcore everyone at birth so that anonymity is eliminated, each exhaled CO2 molecule is attributed to someone, and soldiers may be safely and immediately killed. Or whatever this loon is saying these days.)

That's sad but the U.S. scientific community will probably need some foreigners to ignite their own Star Wars and bring some life and meaning to the National Academy of Sciences.

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snail feedback (3) :

reader WNelson said...

If the Republicans want more representation among scientists then maybe they should decide that evolution actually happened. Until the party has the guts to take that stand against its "base" of religious ignoramuses, it deserves to be unrepresented at the NAS.

reader Luboš Motl said...


your comment is nothing else than the usual Marxist propaganda.

This very article is about a very particular smart guy and physicist, George Keyworth, who knows evolution more than you do and all your attempts to connect him with creationism is just a outrageous, disgusting, and totally dishonest libel.

And this guy wasn't invited to a symposium of U.S. presidential science advisers even though he clearly advised the greatest one among those U.S. presidents whose advisers attended.

Jerks like you love to invent oversimplified demagogic slogans, linking every politically inconvenient person to some caricatures even though the person demonstrably doesn't agree with the caricatures. People like you are immoral scum, the same kind of immoral scum that was ruling the Nazi Germany or USSR. You can't imagine how much I despise this scum.

Some other Republicans may believe creationism but most advocates of other parties believe other kinds crap, e.g. that the Earth is going to die because of global warming. Guess which of these two beliefs leads one to more unscientific behavior in the real life?

Your suggestion that the Republicans have to politically work for your goals in order to be allowed by generous leftists to exist within the scientific community at all is just distasteful. When it comes to folks like you, my goal isn't to increase the representation of conservatives among the likes of you; that's not something I would wish to them. My goal is to clean the surface of the globe from totalitarian scum of your kind. Your attempts to equate yourself with science is pathetic; you are just a piece of dirt that parasites upon science.

Fuck off, asshole

reader Luboš Motl said...

BTW greens are allowed to have "representation" among scientists even though the Green Party is composed of antiscientific Luddites that have absolutely no problem with terrorist attacks against scientific research labs.

An otherwise Green Party supporter Tom Chivers just wrote a story in the Telegraph about the Green Party's terrorist attack against the research of GM crops.

But those things are invisible to you, aren't they? You only see things that can be abused to legitimize the leftists' terror against the conservatives within the scientific community, right?