Issue Date: January 28, 2013
Science Doubters In Congress
Would a flat-Earth believer be a good fund-raiser for the National Aeronautics & Space Administration? I am deeply troubled by the fact that the newly selected leader for the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space & Technology will be Rep. Lamar S. Smith (R-Texas), “a climate-change skeptic” (C&EN, Dec. 3, 2012, page 10). I dare to guess that the other two candidates, Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), are not skeptics.
It is agreed that skeptics exercise doubt. Whereas doubting and experimenting propel science forward, it does not seem likely that even a stroll along the road to Damascus (not advisable at present) would cure Smith’s skepticism. Just on the preceding page of the same issue (page 9) is another aggravating piece of news on permafrost thawing, which further accelerates global warming.
Alexandru T. Balaban
- Chemical & Engineering News
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