Here’s a slightly abbreviated version of the latest news about my Science Shelf archive of book reviews, columns, and commentary.
In the heat of a tight re-election campaign, top Bush political appointees in the NASA press office “exerted strong pressure during the 2004 presidential campaign to cut the flow of news releases on glaciers, climate, pollution and other earth sciences,” according to Andrew C. Revkin of the New York Times.
The more such information emerges, the more willing I am to accept author Chris Mooney’s brash assertion that there is a “Republican war on science.” If the Republican Party wants to convince me otherwise, then they need to declare that the President’s tactics do not reflect those of his party.
I have been enjoying the ongoing discussion of my blog entry about the importance of paying attention to what the climate experts are telling us. Some people have accused me (courteously) of presenting a picture of “doom and gloom.” It made me think of my optimistic interpretation of “Murphy’s Law.”
The discussion of my last blog entry on the climate change debate, “Has the Climate Change Debate Reached a Tipping Point?” is interesting enough to bring it forward as a new thread of discussion. One of the readers questioned my assertion that there is a scientific consensus, compared it to other issues in the past where he thought there was consensus, and said he hadn’t heard of any polls on the question. I’ll repeat my reply verbatim here. If you need context, click the link to the previous entry.
I’ve been wa-a-a-a-a-y too serious lately, so I was glad to get an e-mail today that got my mind off the global warming debate and back to why I write for children. My correspondent was a mother who is helping to arrange an upcoming visit to her children’s middle school. She told me that her daughter in particular thought that my work was “way cool.”
My comments yesterday about the attempt to silence NASA climate expert James Hansen drew a surprising amount of interest. That’s a good sign. The attempt at censorship is producing a very productive backlash.
Follow this link or click “read more” for excerpts of an upcoming review of Civilized Life in the Universe: Scientists on Intelligent Extraterrestrials by George Basalla.
“Media specialists often defend controversial books. But what if the tables were turned and we were branded as censors for rejecting unworthy books? That’s exactly what happened to us five years ago.” So write Connie and Michael O’Sullivan in a School Library Journal article entitled “Monkey Business.”
Revised due to further news reports. I’m not worried any more. Early version follows:
I’m worried about this from an article in today’s NY Times online:
“Dover Area School Board members violated the Constitution when they ordered that its biology curriculum must include the notion that life on Earth was produced by an unidentified intelligent cause, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III said. Several members repeatedly lied to cover their motives even while professing religious beliefs, he said.”
Recently, I’ve been too busy writing a book manuscript and publicizing my most recent book to mount my soapbox, but I got an e-mail that would be of interest to many of my blog-readers, especially those concerned about inquiry-based learning in K-12 classrooms.