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CA Scientists: Politics is Contaminating Research

February 18, 2008

Los Angeles, CA – Scientific studies have been rewritten, censored, and sometimes entirely fabricated, according to 15,000 scientists from California, and around the country. They say it's time to stop what they call "political interference" that endangers public health.

For example, former Consumer Product Safety Commission employee Robin Ingle claims a political appointee with no scientific background blocked her research on all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety, a move she believes put the public in danger.

"Many injuries and deaths continued to occur. He had formerly represented the ATV industry."

Ingle has joined scientists, including some Nobel prize winners, in signing a letter detailing how science has been routinely falsified and censored by political appointees over the past four years. While politics and science have traditionally had an uneasy relationship in government, she explains political interference has only recently become severe enough to prompt the scientific community to take action.

"It's kind-of a sad state of affairs. These are not principles that are new to the scientific community."

The letter calls for the next Administration to ensure that federal scientists have the freedom to communicate their findings, publish their work, and "blow the whistle" on cases of misrepresentation or censorship. Critics of the request believe political review of science is an important component of holding researchers accountable.

Deborah Smith/Eric Mack, Public News Service - CA