Alternet, a leftist blog, carries this interview with Dr. Jansen, head of Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA’s premiere climate research center. So might that make it slightly left of center?
DR. JAMES HANSEN: Well, my concern is general with both Republican and Democratic administrations. They both feel that they can control what scientists say to the public. So their offices of public affairs in the science agencies are headed, in general, by political appointees, and they review the press releases before they go out. So, it doesn’t really make sense in a democracy. The public should be honestly informed. And then, of course, the publications are allowed to make the decisions, and they don’t have to follow exactly what the science says. There are other considerations that they have. But they shouldn’t influence what is presented, the scientific evidence. And I object to that, regardless of which administration is in power.
I posit that the Bush administration has been much better at bending the bureacracy to its political needs because of breadth of coverage, and the instituting positions of political screening in every department, albeit in a variety of guises (I have written on this several times).
I for one will be closely watching to see if any of the apparautus is dismantled with a new president. I am not optimistic, and am sure it will not be thorough.
Update: ‘ former’ was deleted