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Posted by Box Holder on March 22, 2002 00:35:13 UTC

Occupant (michael w. Pearson) had written:
"Lack of knowledge has always contributed to policy formation. Until recently, our Congress typically would have no scientists at all among its 535 members. Few are there now."

Maybe some troll posing as
"Richard David Yannopoulos-Ruquist" wrote:

"You are so wrong. Congress has relied on scientific research at least since WWII. Perhaps before, but I was not involved then."

1. In the post, I was saying that human history
was formed by ignorance of what modern science knows now..etc. Yes, American government has been a laudable exception TO A DEGREE. I never made the claim that you imply I am claiming.

"The GAO is staffed with scientists and that body is funded and reports to Congress. The fact that no scientist has been elected to Congress does not mean that Congress lacks scientific understanding. My contacts with several congressmen and Senators reveals that they are very aware of the significance of science, especially in the military arena."

Your "extensive contacts . . . reveals" that, eh?
So TO YANNIRU, being
"aware of the significance of science"
is THE SAME AS being very
"knowledgable in science."

I make a distinction between the two.

Maybe some troll posing as
"Richard David Yannopoulos-Ruquist" wrote:

Why don't you stick to things that you know something about?"

Occupant responds:
Aside from your snotty tone, which is unworthy of our topic.... I do not agree with your views.

Among my sources on this is a 10-year Congressman, also a career scientist.
You are so confident that advisors in GAO
can make up any shortage of scientific knowledge
among members of Congress (from before World War Two to recent times.
They also have lobbyists helping make up that shortage, and often the views being propounded by various lobbies and GAO will be in conflict.
How can members of Congress resolve this difference without strong scientific background?
Not scientifically.

Secondly, if GAO made a group recommendation to a body of 535 members, of whom none were scientifically trained, does that mean we didn't have the benefit of 535 competent reviewers on behalf of WE THE PEOPLE? I think so.
But it doesn't seem to have bothered you any.

If all we need is a government council, however
good they are (like GAO sometimes has been), to advise Congress on any issue, then maybe there is no need for Congress to debate. But if that's your way of doing it, it's still not the American way.

Btw, didn't one of the recent republican revolutions abolish the office of technology assessment ?

I don't think anyone is confused about the value of good scientific knowledge, even if it's not laser physics.

Laser physics isn't everything.

Thank you.

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