Just another way Government strangles science:
Apparently a good scientist is not supposed to answer all of the questions from congress. In late 2014,Dr Noelle Metting was the only scientist DOE provided to help congress figure out what mattered, but DOE management had already told Dr Noelle Metting not to answer queries outside of a certain zone they marked out. Alas, she was too helpful to congress though, and got the sack within a month. According to the report, emails within DOE reveal that her sacking was retaliatory, and the reason for her “removal from federal service was her failure to confine the discussion at the briefing to pre-approved talking points.”
This information comes from a congressional investigation chaired by Lamar Smith. (Rep)
Message to scientists — obey the bureaucrat masters, not the elected ones.
By censoring information to congress, the DOE was doing a form of lobbying. Her testimony related to low dose radiation and risks of exposure during terrorist attacks. DOE allegedly wanted to kill off this line of research so they could do more climate research instead. Just out to save the world but kill democracy.
The report additionally discovered efforts by the Obama administration to censor the information given to Congress, interfering with the body’s ability to perform critical oversight work.
“Instead of providing the type of scientific information needed by Congress to legislate effectively, senior departmental officials sought to hide information, lobbied against legislation, and retaliated against a scientist for being forthcoming,” Smith said in a statement. “In this staff report based on lengthy record before the committee, much has been revealed about how senior level agency officials under the Obama administration retaliated against a scientist who did not follow the party line.”
During an October 2014 briefing with senior DoE staff on the matter, lawmakers heard testimony from Dr. Noelle Metting, the radiation research program’s manager.
Less than a month later, lawmakers discovered that Obama administration officials had “removed Dr. Metting from federal service for allegedly providing too much information in response to questions posed by” Congress during the briefing, the report states.
Sometimes it’s the politicians doing the scientific strangling. But this time, it’s the bureaucrats with the choke hold.
UPDATE: Peter C comments that this may be driven more by anti-nuclear desires than by pro-carbon-fears. The low dose radiation studies suggest that low levels of radiation are not so bad, or may even be beneficial which undermines the Anti-nuc excuse that “there is no safe level of radiation”.
In molecular biology we learnt that our nuclear DNA (which is most of our genes), there is a sophisticated repair system which, of course, uses the back up copy of our DNA that we all have to detect errors and repair damage. Our mitochondrial DNA doesn’t have this: that’s the remnant loop of ancient bacterial DNA which only has a few genes, but is copied 1-2000 times in each of our cells. But most of what we call our DNA has a good repair system that can fix single strand errors. It’s the double strand mistakes that cause irreparable damage.
UPDATE#2: Rud Istvan comments that she has been reinstated. See more at #14.
The low dose radiation research program was coming up with more and more information that undermined the “Linear Dose Response with No Threshold” model which has been used since the 1950s to inform policy on radiation risks and mitigation. Even back then the International Commission on Radiation Protection thought that model might not be correct but they adopted it because, on the available evidence it would Not Underestimate the risk of harm.
Anti Nuclear advocates love the Linear No Threshold model because they can claim that there is no safe level of radiation exposure and from there they can spin the anxiety about the harmful effects.
More realistic assessments greatly diminish the problems of low dose radiation exposure. Even nuclear power station accidents become fairly insignificant once the immediate high dose exposure is contained. A great deal of harm has been done to people by these Anti Nuclear advocates.
The DOE is supposed to support the nuclear industry in the USA but it seems that they would rather regulate it out of existence.
Rod Adams has more information on the Low Dose Radiation Research Program here.