To Those Who've Been Keeping Track at Home, It Was No Surprise When the Bush Administration Dropped Renowned Cell Biologist-And Proponent of Embryonic Stem-Cell Research-Elizabeth Blackburn from the President's Council on Bioethics, in Favor of Diana Schaub, a Political Scientist Who Believes Cloning to Be "Evil."

Article excerpt

To those who've been keeping track at home, it was no surprise when the Bush administration dropped renowned cell biologist--and proponent of embryonic stem-cell research--Elizabeth Blackburn from the President's Council on Bioethics, in favor of Diana Schaub, a political scientist who believes cloning to be "evil." The White House makes a habit of stacking federal agencies and scientific advisory committees with political appointees willing to disregard or manipulate fact when it doesn't comport with ideology. The Union of Concerned Scientists has documented some of the most egregious recent examples. James L. Connaughton, former power-company lobbyist and now chairman of the President's Council on Environmental Quality, reportedly requested so many qualifiers and significant changes concerning climate change in the Envinronmental Protection Agency's June 2003 Report on the Environment that the entire section was cut from the final draft, issued shortly after EPA administrator Christie Whitman resigned. When findings from an independent study on the flow of the Missouri River did not fit Bush administration policy objectives, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish, Wildlife and Parks Craig Manson authorized a new "SWAT team" of scientists to review the findings. …