Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The Unsound Use of "Sound Science"

Science blogger Chris Mooney has an article in Legal Affairs about how the right wing is using "sound science" arguments to torpedo the Endangered Species Act and how real scientists are pissed off about it.

The issues behind the attacks on the Endangered Species Act are similar to the issues behind the attacks on other environmental laws and the OSH Act. As much as we all wish it weren't true, when dealing with the environment and public health decisions often need to be made in the face of scientific uncertainty. In those cases, government agencies need to exercise their best professional judgement in applying the laws. That's what Congress intended. But, as Mooney states, " 'sound science' bills wouldn't fix this problem—they'd gum up the decision-making process, creating paralysis instead of better analysis."

More on "sound science" here.