Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Pielke Jr on fair-and-balanced Science mag: One editorial critical of Clinton, then 40 editorials critical of Bush, then zero editorials critical of Obama

Roger Pielke Jr.'s Blog: A New Year's Resolution for Scientists
Partisanship within the scientific community shows itself not just in elections but in how the science community positions itself with respect to government. For a while now several scientific associations (especially AAAS and AGU) have taken on the role of seeing Democrats as allies and Republicans as opponents.
...In a 2009 paper I documented that Science magazine published 40 editorials critical of the Bush Administration during its 2 terms, and only 1 such critique of the Clinton Administration's previous 2 terms (here in PDF). I have just updated this analysis through the first term of the Obama Administration, and found no editorials critical of the Obama Administration. Instead, there were editorials with the following titles:

Presidents Who Value Science
The Enlightenment Returns
Helping the President

An approach that critiques the president when he is a Republican and cheer-leads when he is a Democrat lends itself to more than just cynicism -- it contributes to the politicization of science policy issues which by their nature can be problematic regardless of who is in office.

I have often marveled on this blog at how issues of scientific integrity -- which were so important to scientists and science connoisseurs during the Bush Administration -- largely disappeared in social media science policy discussions, and only occasionally appeared in the conventional media.

The issues, however, have not disappeared....

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