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Abstracts and Reviews of New Papers

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Book Review
Chris Mooney's book, The Republican War on Science, makes the basic point that Republicans have launched an attack on science unprecedented in recent American history by "politicizing" science.

There is no doubt that some Republicans "politicize" science, What Mooney fails to state is that some Democrats, some government agencies, some NGO's and yes, some scientists also "politicize" science. One of the alleged demons of such "politicization" is the Data Quality Act (DQA), which in his opinion should be repealed.

The Data Quality Act is policy neutral; information that the government disseminates has to meet quality standards, and if it does not, any person can challenge it.

Mooney cites as evidence in support of his criticism of the DQA the fact that industry has filed more requests to have inaccurate data corrected than did his colleagues on the left. Whose fault is that? If the left does not avail itself of the opportunity to correct alleged "politicization" misstatements made by the right, using the DQA as the corrective mechanism, then the left should spend more time literally enjoying wine, jazz, and data quality (the title of Chapter 9) instead of complaining about it.

The recent article in the Boston Globe, which launches the book in the media, only exacerbates the failure of left-wing journalists to inform their followers of the opportunities they have to address alleged misstatements of the right. The Data Quality Act is part of the US regulatory landscape, to continue to complain about the Act without notifying readers, left or right, of its empowerment of the citizenry, is shortsighted.

The book correctly points out the significance of the Salt litigation regarding the judicial review of the statute, but also indicates that litigation is likely to continue into the foreseeable future. One decision in one District and in one Circuit Court based on one set of facts is not determinative, whether or not the plaintiffs or defendants prevail.

Given the publicity accorded to the Republican War on Science, and its attendant likely permanence in the literature, critics should respond, including presenting their views for publication on this website,

Excerpts available at