Defend Science Commentary

Read commentary from Defend Science including:

(Feb, 2014)
Battles over The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and...

The New Cosmos series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey premiering Sunday March 9 on Fox (yes, that Fox) Watch It – Spread the Word

As states discuss and move to adopt the new academic standards for teaching children science, called The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), these standards are becoming a battle-ground and focus for attack by anti-science right-wing forces. and...

A most welcome development, in strong counterpoint to this anti-science backwardness, the new Cosmos series, written by Carl Sagan's wife and collaborator Ann Druyen, premieres tonight on Fox with Neil deGrasse Tyson as host. By getting Fox (and National Geographic channel) to air and promote Cosmos, this 13-episode television series has the possibility of reaching billions of people around the world.

read the entire article...

(Nov, 2013)
Significant Victories for Science in the Battle over Textbooks in Texas...But Creationists Cause Delay in the Approval of Key Biology Textbook

Many eyes have been on the battle going on in Texas over the approval of science textbooks – for good reason. The implications of these battles go far beyond Texas itself. As Texas is one of the largest markets for school science textbooks, these Texas standards could have a major effect on new textbooks used across the country.

As this is written, the State Board of Education has voted to give approval to adopt all of the proposed instructional materials that were up for adoption for high school biology and environmental science. The textbooks approved were submitted by 14 publishers for high school biology and environmental science.

This is a significant victory in the defense of science.
read the entire article...

(May, 2013)
Obama Administration Moves (Yet) Again to Undermine Young Women's Access to Plan B Emergency Contraception – Right Wing Politics Trumps Science And Women's Rights (Yet) Again

On April 4 U.S. District Judge Edward Korman issued a ruling that finally ordered that the emergency contraceptive pill known as Plan B be available to teenagers and women of all ages without a prescription. In his ruling the judge sharply criticized the decision by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to over-rule the FDA's prior approval of Plan B as “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable” as well as “politically motivated, scientifically unjustified, and contrary to agency precedent”.

Many celebrated and hoped the judge's decision would finally bring justice and help for young women needlessly suffering under these restrictions. All the Obama administration had to do was nothing. But it was not to be.

Only days later, the Obama administration made further moves to undermine, disrupt and over-turn this correct judicial decision. Through the Justice Department, it is appealing the judge's ruling.
read the entire article...

(Apr, 2013)
Michael Mann - The Role of the Scientist

We at Defend Science feel that these thoughts about the role of the scientist from Michael Mann - a climate scientist who has courageously stood firm against the most vicious attacks and threats of right-wing, corporate-funded global warming deniers including the infamous so-called 'climategate' - are well worth thinking about and acting on.

(from The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars by Michael E. Mann Copyright ©2012 Michael E. Mann. Reprinted with permission of Columbia University Press.)
read the statement...

(Feb, 2013)
SICB Presidents Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline

The current president, the president-elect and 16 past presidents of The Society of Integrative and Comparative Biologists (SICB) have issued an open letter to President Obama opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline
read the entire letter...

(Feb, 2013)
#FORWARDONCLIMATE Rally February 17, Washington D.C

An important rally and demonstration has been called on February 17 at the National Mall, Washington D.C. at 12 noon. Initial sponsors include, the Sierra Club and Hip Hop Caucus. The stated goal is “To tell Barack Obama it's time to lead the fight against climate change, beginning with the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline”.

We support this rally and encourage all those who can to attend and to spread the word.
read the entire article...

(Jan, 2013)
2013 - The Need To Defend Science - Now More Than Ever

“Defend Science” was initiated in 2005 in response to a massive wave of attacks on science unleashed during President George W. Bush’s administration. These attacks occurred on many fronts and included at their core attacks on the very foundation of science - scientific method and thinking...

Today, on the surface, some things have changed. Bush and the Republican party are no longer in the Oval Office. And there have been some shifts and changes among the forces of the 'Religious Right'. But the overall strength and influence of these anti-science forces in society remains broad and dangerous. And there is the emergence of 'Tea Party' extremists. All these forces continue unabated to attack science to promote their agendas.
read the entire article...

(Aug, 2012)
North Carolina Bans Scientific Prediction of Sea-Level Rise

When you first hear of the new law about global warming and sea-level rise that just went into effect in North Carolina, it's hard not to just laugh at the lunacy. But it is quite serious.
read the entire article...

(July, 2012)
F.D.A. Is Spying On It's Own Employees: Trying To Criminalize and Silence Critics and Whistleblowers

Last week it was reported by the N.Y. Times that the Food and Drug Administration is carrying out a massive surveillance program against its own scientists and outside critics of the agency's medical review process.
...This spy operation yielded at least 80,000 pages of surveillance reports on these scientists.
read the entire article...

(Jun, 2012)
From 1999 To Today: Federal Government Continues to Promote Unscientific Claims About Plan B Contraception

A recently published article in the NY Times reveals that the federal government has, since 1999 when Plan B was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.), been putting out unscientific views about this pill and its mechanisms. Without scientific foundation they stated that Plan B “may” block fertilized eggs from implanting in a woman's uterus.
...this has done and continues to do great harm to women – has helped bolster the attacks by extremist right wing forces against women in general.
read the entire article...

(Dec, 2011)
Obama Administration Overrules FDA Approval Of Plan B – Right Wing Politics Trumps Science Again

For the first time ever, the Health and Human Services secretary – Kathleen Sebelius - has publicly overruled the Food and Drug Administration's approval of a medication. Her decision continues the policy of refusing to allow the emergency contraceptive Plan B to be sold over the counter to women under 17 without a prescription from a doctor. It overruled the FDA that was finally prepared to approve over-the-counter access to minors - a policy that is recommended by the entire scientific and medical community.

Kirsten Moore, president of the Reproductive Health Care Technologies Project voiced what many are feeling:

"For me personally this is an incredibly disappointing moment, because I was in the East Room of the White House in March 2009 when [President Obama] signed an executive order saying this administration was committed to restoring scientific integrity to the policymaking process. And that commitment just went up in smoke today."
read the entire article...

(Sept, 2011)
Arctic Scientist Subjected To Smear Campaign and 'Fishing Expedition' Investigation by the Department of Interior

In 2006, Charles Monnett, one of the country's top Arctic scientists, co-authored a 7-page paper with Jeffrey Gleason reporting observations of polar bears that had drowned due to a combination of shrinking sea ice and severe storms. The article was peer-reviewed and published in the science journal “Polar Biology”. Shortly after, it went viral playing a role helping galvanize public awareness of the seriousness of global warming. Al Gore referenced it in his book “An Inconvenient Truth” and it received large press coverage.

Now Monnett is being persecuted, was suspended from his job and placed on administrative leave for weeks, forbidden to speak with co-workers and subjected to a on-going witch hunt by the federal agency he works for, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement or BOEMRE. In late August, he was called back to his job but stripped of his former responsibilities involving managing research contracts. A cloud of suspicion and innuendo has been deliberately kept hanging over his head. A spokeswoman for BOEMRE said “The return of an employee to work does not suggest that future administrative actions cannot/will not be taken.”
read the entire article...

(Aug., 2011)
Embryonic Stem Cell Research Upheld in Federal Courts ... for now

In a most welcome development, the federal court which last year caused chaos and huge damage to embryonic stem cell research when it issued a preliminary injunction that halted all federal funding for such research (the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Chief Judge Royce Lamberth) has now reversed itself and ruled that stem cell research can proceed. This ruling came after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit had overturned the injunction and sent the case back to Lamberth's court to decide on the merits of the case.

NIH funding of embryonic stem cell research can now continue.

But several strong words of caution must be raised here:

First, this case will be appealed, possibly all the way to the Supreme Court. If this appeals process goes on for years it will still keep those who are planning and conducting their research in a state of limbo and insecurity for years.

Second, this legal victory is fragile. It is based on accepting the terms of and not challenging the legality (or the morality) of the infamous Dickey-Wicker amendment, the law passed by Congress every year since 1996 that prohibits federal funding for "research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed."
read the entire article...

(Jul., 2011)
Proposed Cancellation of the James Webb Space Telescope: a Major Attack on a Foundational Science Program for the Next Generation

The move by the House Appropriations Committee to cancel the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the planned successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, represents a major attack on a foundational science program for the next generation – an attack on science itself. Though occurring in the context of major budgetary battles in the government, any claim that this is somehow needed for budgetary constraint, would be laughable if this were not so serious. To take just one example, the government spends over $20 billion dollars annually for air conditioning the military in Iraq and Afghanistan.
read the entire article...

(Feb., 2011)
New Survey Reveals Frightening Statistics About What Biology Teachers Are Teaching

A survey recently published in Science Magazine reveals:

* only 28% are teaching evolution by "describ(ing) straightforwardly the evidence for evolution and explain(ing) the ways in which it is a unifying theme in all of biology."  

* 13% are explicitly advocating creationism  

* what is called "the cautious 60%" are attempting to avoid contraversy by endorsing neither evolution nor its unscientific alternatives
read the entire article...

(Mar., 2011)
Thick Layer of Oil From the BP Oil Spill Deposited on the Gulf Sea Floor: Government Tries to Evade and Ignore Crucial Scientific Findings - Restarts Deep-Sea Drilling in the Gulf

Less than a year ago, April 20, 2010, the world watched in horror as the BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded resulting in up to 60,000 barrels (2.5 million gallons) of oil per day spewing into the Gulf of Mexico for several months.  BP and the government proved unable to stop the gusher of oil for months.  At the time of the spill the Obama administration put a temporary halt on off-shore drilling and promised it would not begin until a full assessment of the impact was done and until if was proven safe to resume.

... just recently, a team of researchers led by Samantha Joye from the University of Georgia reported disturbing findings at the annual meeting of the AAAS.  Joye's team used a deep sea submersible and collected over 250 ocean floor core samples over an area of the Gulf covering 2600 square miles including at the Macondo well site where the spill occurred. A large number of those core samples showed a 4 inch thick layer of oil deposition.

...On February 28, 2011, barely a week after Joye's findings were released, the Interior Department announced that deep-sea oil drilling was resuming in the Gulf.  A company called Nobel Energy has already been granted a license to begin drilling again in 6500 feet deep waters and more license approvals are not far behind in the approval pipeline.

Unable to ignore Joye's findings, NOAA head Jane Lubchenco, representing the Obama administration, tacitly acknowledged and at the same time attempted to downplay and muddle the significance of these results stating: "it's not a contradiction to say that although most of the oil is gone, there still remains oil out there."  No – there is a massive amount of oil out there and it is having a devastating impact on marine life.
read the entire article...

(Jan., 2011)
The Climate Crisis and The Assault on Science

Any objective assessment of climate change and the development of the science of climate change can only conclude:  climate change is continuing relentlessly; climate science has continued to develop a deeper understanding of why that is happening and its very dangerous implications; human society's greenhouse gas emissions is driving global warming.

But instead of the public understanding of this getting clearer and determined global action beginning in earnest, the last year has seen the opposite - significantly because of a relentless assault on climate science.  This assault is not based on reason or on evidence - it is driven by economic, political, and ideological currents and compulsions and not by the reality of what human society is doing neither to the planet, nor by flaws or weaknesses in climate science.  And unfortunately, in the face of this, many who have once taken better positions have been intimidated or retreated, and in particular the positions taken by the US government have continued to fall far short of taking responsibility for the future of the planet.  In this situation, the role of scientists speaking in defense of a scientific understanding of what is going on has great importance.
read the entire article....

(Aug., 2010)
Oil's Stain On Science by Linda Hooper-Bui (from The Scientist - re-published by LibraryThing)

Functioning as an independent researcher in and around the Gulf of Mexico these days is no simple task. I study insect and plant communities in near-shore habitats fringing the Gulf, and my work has gotten measurably harder in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

It's not hazardous conditions associated with oil and dispersants that are hampering our scientific efforts. Rather, it's the confidentiality agreements that come with signing up to work on large research projects shepherded by government entities and BP and the limited access to coastal areas if you're not part of those projects that are stifling the public dissemination of data detailing the environmental impact of the catastrophe.
read the entire article...

(Aug., 2010)
Right Wing Forces Assault Embryonic Stem Cell Research

On August 23rd, the Chief Judge Royce Lambert from the U.S. District Court for Washington D.C., issued a ruling stopping all federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.  ... The heart of Lambert's ruling is based on the Dickey-Wicker amendment that precludes federal funding of "research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death”.

The Obama administration made it one of its key points during its election campaign to repudiate the anti-science policies of Bush, in particular around stem cells.  This court decision shows how much influence Christian fundamentalist dogma still has in American political institutions, including the judiciary. 

What is at stake here is both the immediate and terrible practical impact of Lambert's ruling, and a fundamental assault on science.  If Lambert's ruling ultimately carries the day, it will have a devastating impact on stem cell research and possibly sabotage potential cures for many devastating medical conditions.  Beyond that,  it is part of a broader continuing attempt to constrain science under the yoke of Christian fundamentalist ideology.
read the entire article...

(Sept., 2010)
Federal Gulf Oil Report: A Flawed Abuse of Science - Gulf Crisis is Not Over
The federal government's National Incident Command has released it's report on the gulf oil spill “BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Budget: What Happened To the Oil?”  The main message of this report – and certainly the main spin it has been given in statements by government spokespeople and the major media is  - “it's all but over, we've accounted for most of the oil, most of it's gone and what's left is disappearing fast”.

But the report's conclusions are at best premature, based in many respects on guesswork, and evidence that didn't fit its conclusions was suppressed.  The conclusions drawn from the report and being pushed out broadly to the public are wrong.  Leaving aside the dangerous implications this report may lead to in terms of governmental policy, this report is itself an attack on and abuse of science.
read the entire article...

(Sept., 2009)
Francis Collins Appointed as Director of NIH -
Science is Attacked Under the Banner of "the compatibility of science and religion"

Francis Collins, nominated by Barack Obama on July 8, 2009, was confirmed on August 7, 2009 as the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by a unanimous vote of the Senate. Collins’ scientific credentials are impeccable: he is a physical chemist, a medical geneticist and the former head of the Human Genome Project.

Collins now:

  • has responsibility for the $30 billion federal budget for biomedical and health-related research;

  • is a key scientific spokesperson in the federal government;

and, for some time, he has been on a very public crusade to proselytize his particular view about the “compatibility between science and religion”.

Collins’ “harmony” is not good for science.
Collins is not just promoting a general philosophical and religious view. From these views he draws, and invites others to draw, purported scientific conclusions that conflict with a scientific view of evolution. And Collins has made clear that he is seeking political allies on the religious right.
read the entire article...

(Sept., 2009)
Defend Science Response to Feedback on Francis Collins letter
Our commentary on Francis Collins has created some controversy - more so than any recent thing we have written.  In reading over the responses, some in agreement and expressing concern about the implications of Collins’ appointment, others passionately in opposition to what we wrote, we felt both that there were, in some cases, real disagreements being expressed and also some lack of clarity about what we were actually saying.  And we also feel that there are very important issues for science at stake in this, and so we are sending out this email.
read the entire article...

(May., 2009)
Obama's Stem Cell Policy -
Needed Science Banned and Constrained by Christian Fundamentalist Ideology

It appeared to many that Obama was truly standing up for science against the backward forces of the Christian Fundamentalist right.

But now, the new National Institute of Health draft guidelines for stem cell research have been issued and a more careful examination of these rules and of what has happened and how it has happened reveals a very different story. The truth is that while some changes may be made to open up and fund some forms of stem cell research, Obama's overall policy and moves mean that vital types of stem cell research are still banned and that stem cell research overall still remains fettered by the Christian fundamentalist position that there is something sacred about the fertilized human egg (i.e. the blastocyst, a clump of cells about the size of the period that ends this sentence) which should set a barrier to important scientific and medical research.

read the entire article...

(Feb., 2009)
Texas: Two Major Attacks on Science -
State Education Standards for Science Undermine Teaching
Christine Comer Case: Undermines Educators' Ability to Defend

A huge battle has been taking place centering on what standards for teaching science would be set by the Texas State Board of Education.  These standards are meant to dictate what is taught in science classes in elementary and secondary schools, and also are meant to provide the material for state tests and textbooks for the next decade.  And the implications of these standards go beyond Texas itself.  As Texas is one of the largest markets for school science textbooks, these Texas standards
could have a major effect on new textbooks used across the country.

The basic, scientific standards that apply here are clear:
evolution is true and should be taught as such;
creationism in any form is not science and should not be taught in science classrooms
read the entire article...

(Jan., 2009)

Defend Science, Darwin and the Biologists (report from SICB Conference)

Defend Science had an exhibit table at the SICB (Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology) conference in early January (the SICB is one of the major professional organization of biologists in the US. Approximately 1800 biologists and students attended). We learned a great deal: About important new organizations and efforts to popularize science; about the fierce struggle biologists are waging against creationist attacks on evolution, and in some cases just to teach evolution; and about what scientists and others can do to fight for science now – especially around Darwin Day and Darwin Year.
read the entire article...

(Dec., 2008)
Celebrate Darwin Day 2009: Stand Up For the Science of Evolution

This year, February 12, 2009, is the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. 2009 is also the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s “On The Origin of Species by Natural Selection”, a monumental work and tremendous scientific achievement.

If you could imagine a world without Darwin and the theory of evolution by natural selection, it would be a world impoverished in every dimension. Modern medicine would be crippled, without a deep understanding of how to prevent infections that rapidly evolve and grow resistant to treatment; we would have a greatly diminished understanding of the threats to biodiversity from alien species and habitat alternations. We would not appreciate the “grandeur in this view of life”, to use Darwin’s own words – the beauty and amazement of how all of life developed through natural processes. And science itself would be weakened in an almost incalculable way.

We strongly encourage everyone to help organize and participate in Darwin Day celebrations around the country, and circulate this statement everywhere, distribute it to friends and colleagues, post it on the web.
read the entire article...

(Sept., 2008)
2008 Elections: Implications for Science and Critical Thinking

“Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told ministry students at her former church that the United States sent troops to fight in the Iraq  war on a 'task that is from God.'
In an address last June, the Republican vice presidential candidate also
urged ministry students to pray for a plan to build a $30 billion natural
gas pipeline in the state, calling it 'God's will.’”  Associated Press,
September 3, 2008

For all those hoping against hope that the attacks on science, critical
thinking, and rational thought were going to end with Bush, the Republican party made it clear enough where it stands on that question when it brought forward the nomination of Sarah Palin.  Palin called in the past for teaching creationism in science classes in public schools (though more recently has been cautious in stating what she thinks.)  She is an abortion opponent,  an advocate of the view that life begins at conception, and an opponent of most birth control.  As small town mayor in Alaska, she raised whether it would be possible to ban books from the town library, and tried to fire the town librarian who refused to go along.

And it isn’t just the Republican Party.
read the entire article...

(Sept., 2008)
Attacks on Science 2008: A Very Partial List

The attacks on science continue in 2008.  The following list outlines specific items making the news (some in a very limited fashion).  But perhaps the biggest items are those that do not make headlines.  The current administration has taken no action on stem cell research since the November 2007 veto of legislation allowing embryonic stem cell research to continue, and none of the current major party presidential candidates, have raised the issue substantively in their campaigns.    Although the Bush Administration no longer openly denies the science behind global warming, not a single regulation addressing the pressing issues of greenhouse gases or other related topics has been raised.   Issues related to public health and the environment have also been denied with further evidence of the muzzling of government scientists in agencies such as NASA, the EPA, and others coming to light.  Equally chilling are the increasing efforts to roll back women’s reproductive rights and to force religion into science classrooms. Creationist bills are “brewing” in state legislatures across the country - and have been passed and signed into law in Louisiana (see below). And it is alarming in this context that issues relating to science and scientific thinking are nearly absent from substantive discussion in the presidential campaign - with the “exception” of Vice Presidential nominee Palin’s creationism and Biblical literalism.
read the entire article...

(July, 2008)
New Round of Attacks on Evolution - creationism as
"academic freedom" or "science education"

In a number of state legislatures (e.g. Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, Michigan) and state boards of education (e.g. Kansas, Texas), a new round of attacks on teaching evolution are in the works. In Louisiana, both houses of the legislature passed SB 733, and Governor Bobby Jindal, in opposition to widespread calls for a veto, signed it into law on June 25, 2008. This new onslaught of creationism/intelligent design is, at least in part, a response to the legal drubbing “intelligent design” got in the Pennsylvania v. Kitzmiller legal case in 2005, when Federal Judge Jones ruled that intelligent design creationism had nothing to do with science but was a way for religion to be smuggled into the classroom, and should not be allowed in public school science classes.

The Louisiana law is modeled on a template from the Discovery Institute, the nerve center of the intelligent design version of creationism. The heart of it is the latest misleading argument from the intelligent design forces – that scientists and teachers who raise so-called “scientific” criticisms of evolution are intimidated, unfairly denied tenure, and otherwise retaliated against. This strategy, central to Ben Stein’s movie, Expelled, frames the issue as one of “academic freedom,” claiming dissent from Darwinism is not allowed in the scientific community or classroom...
read the entire article...

(March, 2008)
The Movie "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" - a big attack on Science
The Ben Stein movie/documentary "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" is scheduled for release on April 18th. The movie casts Stein (former Nixon speech-writer with a minor acting career) as an “anti-establishment rebel” facing off against “Big Science”. It is a crude attack on evolution, insidiously framed as defending the “Freedom of Speech” of scientists who dare to go up against the scientific establishment. P.Z. Myers, evolutionary biologist and author of the science blog Pharyngula, was recently expelled from a screening of the film (although his guest, Richard Dawkins, was not!) Myers, who was interviewed by the producers under false pretenses and appears in the film, immediately exposed the hypocrisy of the films producers who ejected a critical voice from the screening of a film purporting to be about freedom of speech. (See his blog ). This, and other exposures of the film’s attack on evolution, created a firestorm in the blogosphere and brought the film some much needed criticism (check out the links below which give a general idea of the discussion). Here we aren’t going to repeat material well-covered elsewhere. (Here) ... we want to address some of the specific strategies of the film. 

read the entire article...

(December, 2007)
The Stem Cell Breakthrough and the Attacks on Science
The week of Nov. 20, two teams of researchers -- one led by Kyoto University's Shinya Yamanaka, the other by the University of Wisconsin's Junying Yu reported that they had turned human skin cells into pluripotent stem cells – cells which appear to behave in tests so far the same as embryonic stem cells.

But the coverage of this story is being spun in ways that represent a serious attack on science.

At the core of this attack on science, an intense effort is being made to put over the pseudo-argument that since these pluripotent skin cells are “the same” as embryonic stem cells and since there's supposedly “a stigma” involved in embryonic stem cells, scientists should just drop them and “use” the skin cells instead because after all who wants controversy. And unfortunately many who should know better who are normally supporters of science have joined in pushing this viewpoint.  read the entire article...

(December, 2007)
Christine Comer (dir. of science for Texas Education Agency)
attacked by creationists and forced to resign

The week of Nov. 20, 2007, Christine Comer who served for 27 years as a science teacher and 9 years as director of science for the Texas Education Agency was attacked and forced to resign.  Why?  Because she forwarded an email about a lecture by Dr. Barbara Forrest.  Dr. Forrest is co-author of "Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse" and was an expert witness in the Dover, PA trial that ruled against the teaching of "intelligent design" in science classrooms.  Dr. Forrest is also a signatory of the Defend Science statement.  In the dismissal letter received by Comer, it referred to the issue of evolution and creationism as "a subject on which the agency must remain neutral".  Remember this is talking about the state agency in charge of science education. read the entire article...

(July, 2007)
Bush appointed ex-Surgeon General exposes governmental
suppression of science
Former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona - a Bush administration appointee - went public during Congressional testimony on July 10 with scathing exposure of how science, science policy and scientific thinking is being attacked and muzzled across the board from the highest levels of government. read the entire article...

(May, 2007)
What happens when Defend Science! reaches the broad public
When the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran an editorial about Defend Science, hundreds of people responded, signing the Defend Science Statement, many making thoughtful and inspiring comments about the attacks on science and what to do about this.  Triggered by one editorial ... in Minnesota.  Imagine the impact of the Statement running in major newspapers, reaching millions... read the entire article...

(February, 2007)
Attacks on Science From the Bush Administration Continue Post-Election (Excerpted from a speech in February 2007 in Hawaii by Michael Hadfield)
Lest anyone think that the Congressional electoral victories of the Democrats last November have changed anything, let me point out these post-election events, all drawn from the popular press since November 2006: read the entire article...

(November, 2006)
Assessing What is Going On Today
To say the attacks on science continue states the obvious. But Bush and the Republicans appear to be in political trouble, and there has been rising opposition to the attacks on science, including important victories. So how to assess what is going on? This article will examine this by focusing on the question that concentrates the overall assault on science and scientific thinking - the creationist attack on evolution. read the entire article...

(September, 2006)
On the Relation Between the Defend Science Statement and the UCS "Restoring Scientific Integrity" statement
An important question which is sometimes raised is why we are doing the Defend Science Statement and how we view the (UCS) "Restoring Scientific Integrity" Statement.  Here we want to address this more fully, and also explain how we see our efforts as complementary and mutually reinforcing. read the entire article...

(February, 2006)
James Hansen, Global Warming, and the Bush Science Police
James Hansen, the top climate scientist with NASA, has come under intense pressure from high Bush administration officials threatening him and essentially telling him to shut up and be loyal to the President. They are demanding that he stop telling the truth about the grave dangers of global warming, and the urgent need for global action. Hansen has courageously refused to bow down to the threats and has continued to speak out.  read the entire article...

(January, 2006)
Prof. Paul Mirecki (Univ. of Kansas) attacked for planning a course teaching "Intelligent Design" as religious myth.  read the entire article...

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from Matt Davies' Blog...

If you watched these before, try again now.  The video & audio quality is much improved.  The presentations and discussion were very enlightening and well worth watching and sharing with friends/colleagues.
[Some people have reported problems using Internet Explorer with these video links.  In our testing IE seems to freeze but is really just downloading a very large file and doesn't start playing until the download is finished - but then the video plays fine.  Netscape seems to work fine if you have that.  If you only have Internet Explorer, you can right click and save/download the video files to your local computer or just be very patient.]

Video of Defend Science Forum (UC Berkeley, 4/13/2006)
"The Attack on Scientific Thinking and Why We Must Defend Science"
video quality much improved!
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Steve Palumbi
Kevin Padian
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