Many news sources are reporting today about the paper released by a group of sixty scientists (twenty of whom have a Nobel Prize in their living room) condemning the Bush administration’s treatment of scientific research.

Specifically, they claim the administration has “deliberately and systematically distorted scientific fact in the service of policy goals” with regard to research on the environment, medicine, nuclear weaponry, and so on. They further contend that reports unfavorable to the administration policies were censored or discarded, that advisory committees were loaded with unqualified political appointees, and that the administration refused to seek independent confirmation of reports in line with their agenda.

Personally this comes as no great surprise, and only sharpens my feeling that Bush and his cronies are the worst thing this country needs right now. Of course other administrations have done similar things– suppressing information that happens to be contradictory to their policies or direction. But according to this report, our current administration has gone far beyond the “usual” levels and continues to subvert scientific progress when it feels threatened.

It’s already clear the administration distorted intelligence reports regarding Iraq in order to accomplish its agenda, so in a way this seems like “par for the course”… if it doesn’t agree with you, shut it down. When you’re at the top of the government totem pole, you have the power to do exactly that.

Where does it end? Is there no limit to the authority of Bush and his cronies? Can they hide, doctor, or otherwise discard anything that stands in their way?