Thursday, February 16, 2006

et tu NSF

Applebaum has an interesting OpEd in the WaPo on the OSTP possibly messing with more inconvenient science, with rumours of retribution for the individual scientists.
The latter are puzzling, given what I know of the review process, the only way for that to happen is if highly rated grants are politically vetted by very senior agency people after the mid-level review, and most of the senior agency people would refuse to do such things, I would think.
On the other hand some senior agency people did leave very suddenly in the last couple of years.

Of course everyone is now getting paranoid and distrustful of agency PAO types, which is unfair and chilling to release of information even if there is no concerted high level effort to censor... the Deutsch affair may be a one-off abnormality, too early to tell, but it is time for some people to take a serious and systematic look at the possibility.

Oh, and as a matter of pure pragmatism, the Union of Concerned Scientists should stand well back at this point and not start jumping up and down, it'd be counterproductive if they did.


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