Comment [on “Science in the political arena: Taking fire from the right and the left”]



The points made in “Science in the Political Arena: Taking Fire From the Right and the Left” [Eos, Nov. 21, 1995, p. 480] are well taken. However, I disagree strongly with the implication that assaults on science from the right and left are of equal gravity. While the assault from the left disrupts certain scientific projects, the assault from the right, I believe, risks America's preeminence in science and the development of significant benefits to society. Although environmentalists and animal-rights activists have certainly impeded research in some cases, their activism has also spurred many other fields of research including global change and biodiversity, and encouraged the development of fresh water supplies and alternative fuel sources.