Below is the O so apt resignation of Steven J. Welcenbach from the American Chemical Society (ACS). In it he describes how the largest scientific society in the world has become a non-scientific activist group bowing to political pressure and ignoring its members objections. Such is his ire and dismay, he is not only pulling his membership but vows to do all he can to make sure ACS does not receive public money. He suggests that many former members will form a new society that rigorously follows the scientific method (hear hear).
It’s time to start talking about that new society. What would we call this international coalition of scientists who demand the highest standards of reasoning, who expect that the society would be there to serve its members, not just serve the aspirations of the committee members, or grant-seeking-associates? What would be written into its constitution? Any large entity is a target for people seeking power or seeking to use science for their own purposes. How do we stop that decay?
Where is this science association that would never dream of uttering an ad hom, or argument from authority, and would never declare that the “debate is over” and grovel before the false prophets of science? Where is the association that would outspokenly condemn any scientist who hides data, makes logical errors, and resorts to name-calling to silence the critics?
Art Robinson wrote about the how the control of the quest for knowledge itself has been usurped from individuals and private industry and taken over by the government. I discussed his excellent article in The Truth Shall Set You Free.
How soon can we start?
PS: (Thanks to Bob Carter for passing it on).
January 22, 2011
Executive Director and CEO
American Chemical Society
Membership and Subscription Renewal
PO Box 182426
Columbus, OH 43218-2426
You have completed the transition you began long ago when you assumed your present position of power. The American Chemical Society (ACS), formerly the largest scientific society on Earth, has been fully transformed from a respected, credible scientific organization to a fully engaged Progressive Political Action Committee.
The respectability and credibility of ACS has been waning for quite some time, even before you took the reins as Executive Director and CEO. Rudy Baum has done a nice job of continuing the legacy you started as editor of the organizational publication, C&E News. The content of this publication has steadily become based upon hearsay and unproven claims, such as the report last fall about the “pollution fallout” of the “undersea oil plume” from the BP incident in the Gulf last spring. No data was provided. No proof required. Just speculative claims of disaster from the handsomely paid authors of calamity. Such an article typifies the scientific journalistic prowess of C&E News and thus ACS.
In 2009, I attempted to address the blatant malfeasance of Rudy Baum in addressing the issue of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) in any meaningful scientific manner in C&E News. My efforts were rewarded with a blatant dismissal by Rudy as a “Flat Earther” followed by your full support of his position and methods when I approached you with this matter. While I give Rudy credit for following our interaction up with a boatload of letters from ACS members articulating a similar position to mine, he still articulated a scientifically untenable statement: “Still the science rolls on……ice is thinning in the Arctic Ice Pack…..” as if the ONLY possible explanation for such and event is AGW and is something unusual in Earth’s history.
Regardless of this complete demonstration of unanimity of outlook and commitment by ACS executives and leadership to AGW doctrine and disregard for the scientific method, many of us felt we could effect change within the organization. One member, Peter Bonk, took it upon himself to articulate the disparity between the ACS official Policy Statement regarding AGW and scientific reality titled:
Regarding the American Chemical Society Public Policy Statement On Climate Change:
An Open Letter to Board of Directors of the American Chemical Society
After Peter got 150 members to sign the petition, a commitment from Rudy Baum that the letter would be published in C&E News, and met with you, Rudy and others in Washington DC to discuss this matter, you all went back on your word and refused to publish the letter. The validity of 25 signatures was questioned as a cover for this reversal. No documentation was ever provided to support this claim despite repeated attempts to obtain such by Mr. Bonk. After being informed of this breech of trust one member commented:
“Peter, my experience with Rudy Baum is very similar. He makes commitments and then does not follow the commitment. Can you send me the final copy of the letter/petition you submitted? I plan to talk to the President of ACS, Joe Francisco either in SF or at Purdue. None of this surprises me, in many ways it is similar to the APS response, specifically the Physics Today response which is similar to C&E News. We are dealing with macro politics. Obama’s science advisor, Holdren has put out the signal to the leadership of all the american scientific societies that they have to stay aligned with the administration or else…there is lots of R&D money at stake. There is a statement coming out of the AAAS meeting in San Diego just this month, in fact this past weekend re-affirming that the IPCC science is just fine, move along folks.”
So we see that ACS has become nothing more than an organization whose mission is to promulgate a specific political ideology based upon false claims of AGW, government control of R&D funding and “green and sustainable chemistry,” whatever that means. In other words, completely embrace and promulgate the Progressive Political agenda, the agenda where all scientists are wards of the state producing agenda-supporting “scientific research” papers, resulting in government mandates on carbon dioxide emissions, energy production, mineral extraction and private property. It other words, make scientists the thralls utilized to substantiate the radical environmental and energy policies that will kill economic growth and foster the ultimate goal of these folks, population reduction. Just look at the letters Rudy chose to publish in the last edition (January 17, 2011) of C&E News.
ACS has died as a scientific society. Confirmation of this fact arrived January 20th in my inbox in the form of the “ACS Diversity eBrief.” Apparently the mission of ACS no longer entails a comprehensive investigation of a real scientific issue like AGW. Apparently the Abiogenic Theory of Petroleum Formation holds no interest or scientific credibility to ACS members since I forwarded articles on this subject to Rudy Baum years ago for inclusion in C&E News. “Educating” ACS members on “understanding the importance of diversity” and the plight of being female in the workforce now holds priority in the enlightened ACS organization. Last time I checked the scientific method didn’t include questions about race, gender, eye color or sexual orientation.
Who needs this scientific stuff anyway? It’s SO boring!
Madeleline, you and Rudy made it abundantly clear that the opinions and goals of the membership at large mean nothing to the ACS elite running the organization.
I know many don’t consider me a real member or scientist for that matter, since I only possess a bachelor’s degree. Plus I am a huge, outspoken pain in the rear. So I am sure you’ll not miss me in that regard.
What you will miss is my $151.00 in dues I would have paid plus my dues every year after. You will also miss all of the dues of all of the other members that will follow my example and leave ACS.
This letter of my resignation will be published in many places throughout the world. It will also be forwarded directly to the vast network of ACS members and other scientists in my e-mail archive and then forwarded with my permission to anyone else they see fit to receive it. They all have my permission.
ACS has proven to truly be beyond hope. You and your cabal have systematically subverted the mission of ACS and brought it to this sorry, repulsive juncture.
The displaced scientists from ACS, the American Physical Society and other formerly scientific organizations turned Progressive Political Advocacy groups will form a new society rigorously following the scientific method and staying true to the ethical tenets that have allowed scientific discovery to flourish. I have pulled my personal funding of ACS and plan to do all I can in the coming years to make sure any and all public money ACS receives gets eliminated.
Please tell Rudy I am not abdicating my promise to him to be removed. I just came to the undeniable conclusion that ACS is beyond repair and must be replaced. So in a way I guess I am keeping my promise to him after all.
Steven J. Welcenbach
(Bolding added by Jo).
Thanks to Graham for spotting the feral apostrophes. :-\