Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Science Teachers Inconvenienced by Truth

Money Talks Bullshit

NSTA President earns Olbermann's Worst Person Award
This story really gets me where it hurts. I am an unrepentant fan of science, and a self-described philosophical empiricist, meaning I like to base my beliefs on observable facts. I have no room in my mind for faith-based creation myths, and even less for politically motivated junk science that denies the facts because they are inconvenient to the reich* and powerful in the oil industry.
"In tomorrow’s Washington Post, global warming activist Laurie David writes about her effort to donate 50,000 free DVD copies of An Inconvenient Truth (which she co-produced) to the National Science Teachers Association. The Association refused to accept the DVDs:

Accepting the DVDs, they wrote, would place 'unnecessary risk upon the [NSTA] capital campaign, especially certain targeted supporters.' "
Those unnamed targeted supporters were of course the reich and powerful in the oil industry.
"As it turns out, those supporters already include “special interests,” including Exxon-Mobil, Shell Oil, and the American Petroleum Institute, which have given millions in funding to the NSTA. And while the NSTA showed no interest in helping educators get copies of Al Gore’s movie (which scientists gave “five stars for accuracy“), it has distributed oil industry-funded “educational” content, like this video produced by the American Petroleum Institute: Fuel-less: You Can't Be Cool Without Fuel."
I feel betrayed. Science is supposed to be above this kind of financial manipulation. I'm already pissed off enough that corporate ownership of the media has led to a wholesale distortion of the 'facts' put in front of the public via the radio and TV airwaves. I'm disturbed and dismayed that the religious right has tried with some success to replace evolution with 'intelligent design' in the classroom. The idea that science teachers would do this is too much.

* - 'reich and powerful' - a typo, I thought it fitting to let it stand as is.
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