Saturday, March 17, 2007

Good news from the US House of Representatives

As Phil Plait points out, there are some good news from the US House of Representatives:

House Passes Historic Whistleblower Bill Protecting Federal Scientists

The House of Representatives today overwhelmingly passed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, which would, for the first time, grant federal scientists and contractors the right to expose political interference in their research without fear of retribution. The bill passed by a 331 to 94 vote, with 229 Democrats and 102 Republicans voting in favor.

The House soundly rejected an amendment from Rep. Bill Sali (R-Idaho) that would have stripped all protections for scientists from the legislation. Instead, the legislators included an amendment by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) giving scientists the right to present their research at conferences and in peer-reviewed journals.

This is great news for science all over the world. Science research and scientists build upon the existing science, and thus good science is of interest to all. The current US government has had a bad track record of blocking science for political purposes, and by that denying other scientists the results that they might very well need for their own studies.

Edited to add: the text of the bill can be found here (pdf)

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