Gingrich misunderstands National Academy of Sciences

Believe it or not, the National Academy of Sciences does not opine on science.

During last night’s Fox News Channel interview, Newt Gingrich said,

But I say to all of my conservative friends, don’t assume automatically the entire National Academy of Sciences is wrong. And I’d say to the National Academy don’t assume that a vote by renowned scientists is necessarily true.

The National Academy of Sciences — i.e., the organization on behalf of its members as a whole — does not pass judgment on scientific issues. Indeed, there is no mechanism to do so.

The NAS has an affiliate called the National Research Council that, from time-to-time and usually on a contract basis with a federal agency like EPA, impanels groups of mostly second, third or lower tier scientists, many of whom are politicized or are known to have certain points of view, to produce reports of varying quality that represent consensus views of the panels.

The panels do not speak for the members of the NAS or the NAS itself.

Even the NAS staff, which is very much for climate alarmism, has no authority to speak for the NAS’ members.

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