Saturday, October 11, 2003

who are you gonna trust?

industry front groups like the center for consumer freedom just irk me to no end. it makes sense that the tobacco and fast food industries would like to discredit folks like the center for science in the public interest, but at least tell people who you are, don't act like some grassroots organization that popped up overnight to disclose the skinny on the anti-fast food set.

one of the real problems with this information war is the use of scientific facts. CSPI has an entire site devoted to scientific integrity, with a database that catalogues who's got industry funding, with the implicit assumption that it's a bad thing. on the other hand, CCF regularly disses the "junk science" of health advocacy groups. each side uses "their" scientists to bolster their argument. obviously, scientists will stand behind their work, but this politicization of science really undermines our integrity in the public eye.

it seems like a lot of public policy positions don't necessarily have reputable science to back them up (creationism would be an obvious example). now if you are having a school board hearing about science curriculum and evolution, do you give the intelligent design guy (or even the creationist science guy) the same credibility as the rest of the scientific community? it seems wierd that just because a debate has two sides, that the science supporting both sides should necessarily have equal footing.


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