Friday, September 3, 2010

Politicizing Science At U.C. Berkley

If this isn't politicized science, then I don't know what is. Dr. James Enstrom, a research scientist at U.C. Berkley, has been fired after serving over 36 years with the university. His sin - taking positions at odds with the latest act of economic suicide by the state of California, the proposed ban on trucks in the state that do not meet new, strict environmental standards. The new standards are based on decades old research and, in large part, on a study by a person who faked his academic credentials. The nominal reason given by U.C. Berkley for firing Dr. Enstrom is because his "research is not aligned with the academic mission of the Department." See if you can spot in the story where his research has gone awry.

This from Fox News:

. . . Enstrom says his studies show no causal link between diesel soot and death in California – findings that once again set him far apart from the pack and put him in direct conflict with the California Air Resources Board, which says its new standards on diesel emissions will save 9,400 lives between 2011 and 2025 and will reduce health care costs by as much as $68 billion in the state.

The expected benefits of the new standards have been used to justify their estimated $5.5 billion price tag, which opponents say will cripple the California trucking industry at a time when the state can least afford it. The new standards, the critics warn, also could set the stage for national regulations.

Enstrom questions the science behind the new emissions standards, and he has raised concerns about the two key reports on which they were based – exposing the author of one study as having faked his credentials and the panel that issued the other study as having violated its term limits.

He says his views are what have gotten him fired, raising serious concerns not only about the diesel regulations but about academic freedom and scientific research as a whole.

"It's quite unfortunate that it's come to this, considering I've been in this school 36 and three-quarter years," Enstrom said. "… but the reason I'm so passionate about this is because the careers of thousands of California businessmen are on the line."

Enstrom says he is committed to exposing flaws in the science and procedures by which the California Air Resources Board (CARB) passed a series of regulations on diesel exhaust, the last phase of which will require trucks and buses that enter the state either to be retrofitted or replaced entirely to meet new emission standards.

"The Scientific Review Panel of Toxic Air Contaminates in 1998 declared diesel exhaust a toxic substance based on studying truckers and railroaders from back in the '50s, '60s and '70s, when emissions were much higher," Enstrom told FoxNews.com. "They never factored in, for example, that a very high percentage of truckers are also smokers when evaluating heath issues they may have had, yet they were using this research to declare that all diesel exhaust is a toxic substance." . . .

Enstrom also blew the whistle on a CARB staffer, Hien Tran, who authored a report that was central to the legislation – after faking his credentials.

"He said he had a Ph.D. from UC Davis. Turns out he had bought his Ph.D. online for $1,000," Enstrom said.

Tran was demoted, but his report was still used to "set the context for the health benefits of reducing diesel emissions" when the board voted on the trucking regulations, CARB spokesman Stanley Young told FoxNews.com.

What the board didn't take into consideration, Enstrom says, were the many studies, including his own, that contradict its conclusion that diesel soot has caused premature deaths in California.

So in February, he and other scientists presented the board with some of their findings, and in June he co-authored an op-ed for Forbes.com in which he voiced his concerns with the regulations.

Less than a month later he received a letter from UCLA saying his contract would not be renewed . . .

Next time you hear a greenie - or anyone on the left - complain about politicized science during the Bush years or in opposition to anything green, kick them. Kick them in the groin with extreme force. Then repeat as necessary until they have undergone an epiphany. Politicized science does not mean disagreeing with an outcome. It means attempting to silence opposing views.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, he is a UCLA grad, not a Cal grad. . .

Paul_In_Houston said...

Next time you hear a greenie - or anyone on the left - complain about politicized science during the Bush years or in opposition to anything green, kick them. Kick them in the groin with extreme force. Then repeat as necessary until they have undergone an epiphany.

I hope you have lot of endurance, having seen scant evidence of epiphanies amongst that group.
-

William Stout said...

The parallels between this story and the evolution of the global warming “science” are eerie. Add in the derision and vitriol of the academic community regarding intelligent design and it is far easier to see why Dr. Enstrom was let go. I love science and to see the blatant politicization of it and the scientists whoring themselves for grant money is sickening.

The results of science are the results of science and if the results do not match up with the political ideology of the person funding your research then tough. If science is perverted and corrupted in order to appease some jackass with money then you no longer have a legitimate claim to the pursuit of knowledge. This applies to the Universities as well who also promote this garbage.

christian soldier said...

""He said he had a Ph.D. from UC Davis. Turns out he had bought his Ph.D. online for $1,000," Enstrom said."...

How does one 'buy ' a Ph.D?!!!
I thought I had heard everything-guess not!
Thank you for this post.
carol-CS

Anonymous said...

I worked at a college and sometimes participated in the selction process for new employees. We would review their academic record even looking at specific classes they took and their grades. Not suprising since we were a college that we would put so much emphasis on their actual college work. Never the less applicants would submit a resume with faked credentials, degrees and claims of specific class work. Wouldn't you think a college would actually look at your transcript??? Go figure.

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