What makes a scientific expert? Congressional Democrats offer a shocking answer

What makes a scientific expert? Knowledge? Expertise? Accomplishment? Respect of one’s colleagues? A new bill introduced in Congress has a shocking new answer.

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) have proposed a rigged process to ban so-called ‘endocrine disrupting’ chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA).

The bill would establish an “Endocrine Disruption Expert Panel” to advise the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences on banning chemicals.

But to be on the panel an “expert” must:

… have received Federal endocrine-research-related funding within the 2 years preceding appointment under this subsection…

So you can’t be an expert unless you’re at least partially-owned by the politicized federal agencies that want to ban chemicals like BPA in the first place. Astonishingly, a scientist’s source of funding is what makes him expert, according to the Kerry-Moran bill.

While the bill is unlikley to go anywhere due to probable Republican opposition, it does expose where Democrats want to take science and scientists.

33 thoughts on “What makes a scientific expert? Congressional Democrats offer a shocking answer”

  1. When I worked in D.C. the definition of an “expert” was anyone more than 20 miles from home, with a briefcase. Seems not much has changed.

  2. What’s the worst that can happen with this? I mean so what if a hand selected “panel of science experts”, chosen for political reasons, determines that Heinz Ketchup will now be classified as a vegetable and that it can prevent cancer? What is the Harm?

  3. Many people in here in Virginia outside of Moron’s, er Moran’s, district think he is a nut job. I’m just sayin’.

  4. One of the most remarkable things about the Internet is access to information. And this is just what politicians hate. If they can’t hoard the info it makes them less important to the electorate. And Heaven knows Kerry and Moran are insignificant.

  5. There it is. Page 7, lines 20 through 23:
    “20 research in peer-reviewed literature and have
    21 received Federal endocrine-research-related
    22 funding within the 2 years preceding appoint-
    23 ment under this subsection;”
    Incredible.
    Steve, thanks for taking the time to lead this old fart through the maze.
    Larry

  6. Hi Steve,

    I can’t find a link to the text for the current 112th Congress. Where in the post is it?

    Larry

  7. Steve,

    You are a bright guy who could spend time more usefully than quibbling over such matters. Get Real!

    Dick Stein

  8. Larry… the bill you have linked to is from the last (i.e., 111th) Congress. The bill mentioned in the posting is for the current (i.e., 112th Congress). See the post for a link to the text. Check out section 101(b)(1)(A).

  9. Maybe he can sponsor a bill to raise money for Obama as I think he may be behind a tad from his one billion dollar fund he so adamantly wants . He could maybe get it from the 800 billion dollar slush find he created with the stimulus; only it is not called a campaign fund but it most certainly is. Ask any one on capitol hill where the 800 billion went and no one can tell you where it went or what it did.

  10. I checked the text of the bill online
    (http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h4190/text).
    Here’s all I could find on how the members of the Expert Panel are to be chosen:
    ‘(c) Expert Panel-
    ‘(1) ESTABLISHMENT- The Director of the Institute shall establish an Endocrine Disruption Program Panel (in this section referred to as the ‘Panel’) not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this section.
    ‘(2) MEMBERS- The Director of the Institute shall appoint the members of the Panel from among individuals who–
    ‘(A) have established expertise in the field of endocrine disruption research by publishing research in peer-reviewed literature;
    ‘(B) provide assurances they will perform their duties in a manner free of conflicts of interest (as determined by the Director), including by complying with section 208 of title 18, United States Code; and
    ‘(C) represent diverse disciplines, including developmental biology, endocrinology, developmental and neurological biology, embryology, biochemistry, physiology, epidemiology, endocrine driven oncology, and medical research.

    I didn’t find anything about Federal funding.

  11. Typical ignorant liberal response to a non-problem. We’ll just legislate it away; Many years ago I was testifying before congress on a matter that involved a proposed law to mandate a technology that was impossible to achieve, essentially a perpetual motion machine. I carefully explained about the second law of thermodynamics and when the esteemed congress critters didn’t understand that I put it in simpler terms, I told them “you can put your nickel in the slot and get a piece of cake but you won’t get your nickel back.” One congressman said, “ridiculous, we’ll just pass a law to get our nickel back.” The one thing I learned long ago not to fight is ultimate stupidity. Now, after all these years I find liberal stupidity is even worse.

  12. Jim Moran is (D-Va), not (R-Va). One must ask, it this a typo (honest error) or just plain ole distrotion? I vote intentional (and if they are found out, they will claim honest error-but not until. the correct will be on the last page of the publication and hidden as best they can.

  13. And who decides who gets funding? Why democrats of course! We have a budget crises. Time to just dump the grants until the budget can get into balance. So no more scientists in the near term!

  14. The article referred to Rep Jim Moran as a Virginia Republican. He is in fact a democrat representing Virginia’s 8th district.

  15. Scary….. but it is a bit unfair to say “Democrats” since it is cosponsored by a republican.

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