Issue Date: July 14, 2008
Points of View
I continue to be amazed at the tone of the editorials published in Chemical & Engineering News. "Defending Science" reads like a political blog (C&EN, June 9, page 5). Instead of defending science, the editor discredits any opposition to human-caused global warming by using terms such as "right wing," "curious entity," and, best of all, the "antiscience movement." If there "really is a right-wing effort in the U.S. to discredit widely accepted science, technology, and medical information," the editor only proves that there really is a left-wing dogmatic disregard of any dissenting interpretations of scientific data.
If the editor wishes to defend science, why not discuss the topic objectively? Defaming the character of those in the scientific community, including ACS members, who remain skeptical of the scientific data does little to defend science, or even support the editor's position. Since the political solution to human-induced global warming has been to propose implementation of policies costing trillions of dollars, perhaps some caution is in order. Will the editor publicly apologize in the future when the global warming crisis turns out to be another global cooling crisis?
Rudy Baum's editorial berated Steven Milloy's JunkScience.com website as a source of right-wing misinformation. On the contrary, I have found that website to be a portal to thought-provoking discussions on many scientific issues of current interest. Yes, just as Baum does, Milloy pontificates with a definite point of view. However, the value of JunkScience.com is not primarily in what Milloy writes but rather its clickable access to a wealth of news articles and scientific papers in reputable journals that Milloy cites as supporting his views.
I do not always agree with Milloy and I do not always see his citations as supporting his views, but I am grateful to him for bringing it all to my attention. As Baum says, most of JunkScience.com is devoted to global warming but there is much more. Issues that come to mind include genetically engineered food crops, DDT and malaria, statistics of risk assessment, dioxin, PCBs, asbestos, and bisphenol A. Rather than shunning it as Baum suggests, C&EN readers would do themselves a service by visiting JunkScience.com regularly.
Thomas P. O'Connor
Bravo! Well said. No doubt you will receive many complaints, rebuttals, and possibly threats. But you are right.
Again: Well said.
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