In "Climate of Fear: Big Science, Big Government" (Forbes, July 8, 2011), Patrick Michaels, lobbyist for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, admits,
In his 1961 Farewell Address, Dwight Eisenhower famously predicted the rise of a “military-industrial complex,” in which he said, “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist”.
He then went on to speculate as to what Vannevar Bush had wrought. Few remember the next paragraphs, in which he said that at universities, because of the enormous cost of scientific research, “a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity,” and that “we must also be alert” to the “danger that public policy itself could become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
I submit that when the scientists’ lobby hangs a multistory poster in praise of corn ethanol on its Washington building, and when our Senate passes a law that results in our nation burning up over 40% of its corn to please political factions, that we have entered a new phase in our history, where indeed rational policy–like providing cheap and abundant food for the world–has been replaced by the insanity of an unelected scientific-technological elite.
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Denyse O'Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.