Author Topic: We Can Talk About the Weather, But Scientists Can't  (Read 2231 times)

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Offline Deborah

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We Can Talk About the Weather, But Scientists Can't
« on: April 09, 2007, 12:25:26 PM »
Any Scientific Statements "of Official Interest Must be Pre-

Washington, DC °© Federal climate, weather and marine scientists
will be subject to new restrictions as to what they can say to
the media or in public, according to agency documents released
today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
(PEER). Under rules posted last week, these federal scientists
must obtain agency pre-approval to speak or write, whether on or
off-duty, concerning any scientific topic deemed "of official

On March 29, 2007, the Commerce Department posted a new
administrative order governing "Public Communications." This new
order covers the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA), which includes the National Weather Service and the
National Marine Fisheries Service. Commerce´s new order will
become effective in 45 days and would repeal a more liberal "open
science" policy adopted by NOAA on February 14, 2006.

Although couched in rhetoric about the need for "broad and open
dissemination of research results [and] open exchange of
scientific ideas, the new order forbids agency scientists from
communicating any relevant information, even if prepared and
delivered on their own time as private citizens, which has not
been approved by the official chain-of-command:

* Any "fundamental research communication must "before the
communication occurs be submitted to and approved by the
designated "head of the operating unit. While the directive
states that approval may not be withheld "based on policy,
budget, or management implications of the research, it does not
define these terms and limits any appeal to within Commerce;

* National Weather Service employees are allowed only "as
part of their routine responsibilities to communicate information
about the weather to the public; and

* Scientists must give the Commerce Department at least two
weeks "advance notice" of any written, oral or audiovisual
presentation prepared on their own time if it "is a matter of
official interest to the Department because it relates to
Department programs, policies or operations."

"This ridiculous gag order ignores the First Amendment and
disrespects the world-renowned professionals who work within
Commerce agencies, stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch.
Under this policy, National Weather Service scientists can only
give out name, rank, serial number and the temperature.

The agency rejected a more open policy adopted last year by the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The new
policy also was rushed to print despite an ongoing Commerce
Office of Inspector General review of communication policies that
was undertaken at congressional request.

While claiming to provide clarity, the new Commerce order gives
conflicting directives, on one hand telling scientists that if
unsure whether a conclusion has been officially approved "then
the researcher must make clear that he or she is representing his
or her individual conclusion. Yet, another part of the order
states non-official communications "may not take place or be
prepared during working hours. This conflict means that every
scientist who answers an unexpected question at a conference puts
his or her career at risk by giving an honest answer.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Rugby Punk

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We Can Talk About the Weather, But Scientists Can't
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2007, 01:25:48 PM »
So, in laymen's terms does this mean that scientists have a gag order to not talk about Greenhouse, global warming and climate change that was effected by the Government's previous shoddy regulating? Like we need a scientist to tell us that we shouldn't be freezing in April and our coastlines are gonna be wiped out anyway.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Antigen

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We Can Talk About the Weather, But Scientists Can't
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2007, 02:42:41 PM »
It means we've learned very little since the days of Galileo. Prepare for a stepping up of the inquisition. On the bright side, at least this will likely bring some validation and understanding of drug science researchers who have been so persecuted over the last generation and a half or so.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Nihilanthic

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We Can Talk About the Weather, But Scientists Can't
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2007, 03:24:56 AM »

If ever there was a fucking PUNCHLINE about how fucked up the country is and how apathetic everyone is to it, this is it!

 :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

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