The darned near amazing James Taranto comments on Obama's promise to "restore science to its rightful place." And cites an example that illustrates the crux of the biscuit:
The New York Times reports on another example: "a dire government report on cancer risks from chemicals and other hazards in the environment," which is so alarmist that it has even "drawn criticism from the American Cancer Society, which says government experts are overstating their case."
Here's the key passage:The chairman of the president's panel, Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall Jr. of Howard University, said the panel stood by the report."This is an evenhanded approach, and an evenhanded report," Dr. Leffall said. "We didn't make statements that should not be made."He acknowledged that it was impossible to specify just how many cancers were environmentally caused, because not enough research had been done, but he said he was confident that when the research was done, it would confirm the panel's assertion that the problem had been grossly underestimated.
He is confident that once the research has been done, it will confirm the conclusions that he has already reached--conclusions, by the way, that would seem to point in the direction of a vast expansion of government power, consistent with the administration's ideology. Is this what the president meant when he promised to restore science to its proper place?
I would argue that research can't be done once conclusions have been reached. That's the problem with Global Warming (shiver) research as well. Once you have conclusions you can't do research; at that point you're just looking for data that will support your position. This is how you kill science. It's not how you practice it.