Science policy, George W. Bush style. The puzzle is not why so few scientists and academics are Bush-supporting Republicans. The puzzle is why any at all are.
Michael Berube writes, apropos of Bush using Michael Crichton as his science advisor:
Berube: Environmentalists were not the only group Mr. Bush considered during Mr. Crichton’s visit. “They covered the entire spectrum of Crichton’s work,” said Mr. Barnes. “Crichton warned the President that the rapacious Japanese economy would soon crush America, that female executives are often the perpetrators in sexual-harassment cases, and, most important, that the lost city of Zinj is populated by murderous talking gorillas. As in their discussion of global warming, Mr. Bush was in near-total agreement.”
Environmentalists have responded with alarm to the news. “This shows the president is more interested in science fiction than science,” Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, said after learning of the White House meeting. Mr. O’Donnell’s group monitors environmental policy.
Curiously, however, Christian conservatives have also expressed concern. “The president met with Michael Crichton for an hour and they never discussed the dangers of genetic research? That’s an outrage,” said the Rev. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family. “While we understand that the president needs to stay informed about global-warming charlatans, sexually predatory women and dangerous talking gorillas, we strongly believe that he should take a stand against scientific research conducted by atheistic madmen. The president needs to reassure Christians that the Culture of Life® will not be threatened by genetically engineered dinosaurs, human-animal hybrids, or deranged robots with Yul Brynner’s face.”
Toxic, rapidly-reproducing crystalline organisms from outer space could not be reached for comment.