By: Chris Mooney
Science has never been more crucial to deciding the issues facing the country, yet science and scientists have less influence with the federal government than at any time since the Eisenhower administration. On a broad array of issues-stem cell research, climate change, missile defense, abstinence education, product safety, environmental regulation, and many others the Bush administration's positions fly in the face of overwhelming scientific consensus. Federal science agencies, once fiercely independent under both Republican and Democratic presidents, are increasingly staffed by political appointees and fringe theorists who know industry lobbyists and evangelical activists far better than they know the science.
The Republican War on Science By: Chris Mooney (Purchase)
Aug 30, 2005
Published by Basic Books
In the White House and Congress today, findings are reported in a politicized manner; spun or distorted to fit the speaker's agenda; or, when they're too inconvenient, ignored entirely. This is not unique to the Bush administration, but it is largely a Republican phenomenon, born of a conservative dislike of environmental, health, and safety regulation, and at the extremes, of evolution and legalized abortion. In The Republican War on Science, Chris Mooney ties together the disparate strands of the attack on science into a compelling and frightening account of our government's increasing unwillingness to distinguish between legitimate research and ideologically driven pseudoscience.
"[P]assionate, thoroughly researched . . . Mooney's very readable, and understandably partisan, volume is the first to put the whole story, thoroughly documented, in one place."
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Mooney has put the right-wing handwriting on the wall, and the prospect is scary.”
— Kirkus Reviews
"The Republican War on Science lives up to its incendiary title. The book will undoubtedly raise hackles among conservatives and spawn sharp-tongued counterattacks. . . . For those who have felt even vaguely disturbed by their government's attitude toward science, this book is likely to bring those concerns into sharp focus.”
— Christian Science Monitor
“Chris Mooney's book detailing the Bush administration's attitude toward science will either horrify or annoy you. Either way, though, it's an essential piece of detective work on the nature of science policy-making.”
— The Star Ledger
“Mooney's fluid storytelling and readable prose make him particularly adept at threading together seemingly disparate events into a coherent picture of an exceedingly complex phenomenon. He understands science and how it works, as well as why it's so vulnerable to politicization below the public radar. Tampering with science threatens not only the credibility of the scientific endeavor, he asserts, but democracy as a whole. Talk about a threat to national security.”
"A book that is as carefully constructed as a laboratory experiment . . . Grade: A"
— Rocky Mountain News
"The connections Mooney discusses are crucial, because they provide proof that these [antiscience] actions are politically and economically motivated, rather than based on principled scientific worries. The same people are repeatedly involved in the same obfuscations. The Republican War on Science makes clear that scientists need to do more to present their knowledge to the rest of society, because there is no shortage of people willing to misrepresent it."
“The Republican War on Science is a wake-up call to all Americans who value intellectual honesty and civility in our national affairs. Mooney’s exposure of the cynical collusion of special business interests aith the anti-intellectualism of the religious right is a must-read for all who care about this nation’s future.”
— Russell E. Train, EPA administrator under Presidents Nixon and Ford
“The best thing the Bush administration could do for America is to abandon its current practice of manipulating science for political gain, and to treat it honestly. As Chris Mooney makes clear, science shouldn't be about politics."
— Eugenie C. Scott, Executive Director, National Center for Science Education
“Science is a must-read for those concerned about both protecting America's heritage of free scientific inquiry and maintaining our global competitive advantage."
— Rush Holt, U.S. Representative from New Jersey
“Politics and science have never occupied entirely separate spheres, but American politicians have rarely tried to manipulate science in the heavy-handed manner of, say, Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia. The Republican War on Science provides a riveting and deeply disturbing account of how the GOP, despite its professed love of 'sound science,' has repeatedly supported suspect science in an effort to advance its partisan agenda.”
— Ronald L. Numbers, author of The Creationists, co-editor of The Cambridge History of Science
“Chris Mooney's thorough research into recent political efforts to distort and suppress scientifically grounded knowledge demonstrates that our nation is veering sharply from the path that enlightened men like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin envisioned for us.”
— James J. McCarthy, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography and Director, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University
“Under the Bush Administration, science has been repeatedly undermined for political and ideological ends, posing grave risks to health, safety, and the environment. Chris Mooney provides a careful indictment of this assault on science and traces its roots back to its ideological origins. This book provides critical context for the battle to restore scientific integrity to the federal government.”
— Representative Henry A. Waxman
“Chris Mooney doesn't beat around the bush in his well-documented roasting of those who would make a mockery of the processes and results of science. Read it and weep over the loss of reason among our leaders.”
— John H. Gibbons, former director of the Federal Office of Energy Conservation, former director of the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, and former Science Advisor to President Clinton
"A careful reading of this well-researched and richly referenced work should remove any doubt that, at the highest levels of government, ideology is being advanced in the name of science, at great disservice to the American people."
— Neal Lane, Former Science Adviser to President Clinton and former Director, National Science Foundation
"Each day’s news adds to the disquiet of scientists: Science is regularly ignored in decision making at the highest levels of government, or worse, distorted in the service of Republican ideological allies in industry and among religious conservatives. But not until I saw the whole story laid out in Chris Mooney’s thoroughly researched and documented book did I realize the enormity of what is happening. Reading this important book won’t make you feel good, but it will make you wiser.”
— Robert L. Park, author of Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud
“Chris Mooney has produced far more than another expose of political corruption. With meticulous reporting, he has documented a ferocious assault on the basic intellectual architecture of modern civilization. His book poses a profound warning about the sabotage of scientific integrity by dishonest ideologues and delusional fanatics.”
— Ross Gelbspan, author of Boiling Point
"If left unchallenged, the Bush administration's deliberate misrepresentation and frequent outright disregard of science advisory processes will have serious consequences for the nation's economy, health and security. Chris Mooney has opened a window to reveal the extent of the anti-science bias in government policy making."
— Paul Berg, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry