AW: [ RadSafe ] In defense of data

Rainer.Facius at Rainer.Facius at
Fri Jul 29 03:54:47 CDT 2005

My imperfect mastery of English may hamper a proper comprehension of these statements [A] and [B] below. 

His laudable credo regarding the dominance of data [B] might be seen to be in opposition to his 'protectionism' [A] of scientist who decline to make their data available to the public, once their intellectual priority and property has been established by a due publication process. After that, the public shares the ownership of theses data in case their work - including their salary - has been funded by the public, which usually is the case nowadays.

Hopefully, his preferences and beliefs [C] will prove true during his administration.

Dr. Rainer Facius
German Aerospace Center
Institute of Aerospace Medicine
Linder Hoehe
51147 Koeln
Voice: +49 2203 601 3147 or 3150
FAX:   +49 2203 61970

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: radsafe-bounces at [mailto:radsafe-bounces at] Im Auftrag von Ansari, Armin
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 28. Juli 2005 16:09
An: radsafe at
Betreff: [ RadSafe ] In defense of data

A 2-page article (In Defence of Data) in today's issue of Nature (Vol 436, p 454, July 28, 2005) Article is about Ralph Cicerone, the new president of the National Academy of Sciences.

An excerpt:


[A] One of his early acts as NAS president was to engage Congressman Joe Barton (Republican, Texas) over a letter sent out last month. Barton had demanded that three climate researchers turn over reams of data on their climate-change research, a stance that has sparked disapproval among his fellow Republicans as well as other scientists (see Senate hearings strengthen calls for US action over climate. Cicerone entered the fray to offer Barton an independent NAS report to stop individual scientists from being intimidated.


[B]In Washington, scientific knowledge is just one of many factors taken into account when making a decision, and quite often not the most important. Cicerone says he is preparing himself to deal with that. "Being an engineer and a scientist, I tend to think that the facts and the data should dominate everything," he says. 


[C]Such old-fashioned rationalism drives Cicerone. When creating study committees, he prefers to look for unbiased thinkers rather than balancing an advocate from one side with an advocate from the other. He is aware that some say this is an impossible task. "Many people say that's hopelessly naive: that science is not objective, everything is relative, everything stems from an individual's philosophy of life, ideology and so forth. I don't believe that."


Armin Ansari, PhD, CHP
Radiation Studies Branch, EHHE, NCEH
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1600 Clifton Rd, NE (MS-E39) Atlanta, GA 30333

Ph: 404.498.1837 Fax: 404.498.1811
AAnsari at 

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