What happens when you cross science and politics? Too often, science loses.

That’s the conclusion of my America Weekend guest, Dr. Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center For Science And Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. He bases it on research about the decreasing amount of scientists being called as witnesses at hearings of the House Science Committee and the growing reliance on industry voices, who often have a conflict of interest — in that they’ve been paid by companies or organizations with a specific agenda.

We talked about the impact of that reliance on non-scientific input as well as the increased use of false equivalences (e.g. we have three experts warning of the dangers of climate change, so we have to have three others who say there’s no harm — even if the real ratio of opinion on the subject is more like 97% to 3%). As Dr. Rosenberg says, science is not a partisan issue, so it shouldn’t be allowed to be twisted into one.

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