Can Administrative Measures Resolve a Political Conflict?


Albert H. Teich is director of science and policy programs at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a position he has held since 1990. He has spoken and written widely on science and technology policy. Dr. Teich holds a doctorate in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


The current controversy over the politicization of science by the Bush administration is, by definition, a political controversy. As such, it must be addressed by political measures as well as the administrative strategies that Dr. Lambright suggests. The administration’s actions go beyond the bounds of “business as usual” and reflect the interests of its powerful constituencies, as well as the unease of many citizens with some scientific and technological advances. Scientists need to engage these citizens and take their concerns into account in order to build trust between the scientific community and the public, as well as to impede unscrupulous politicians from distorting scientific information to suit their purposes.