Political science at its worst


Recently, 60 of the nation's leading scientists, 20 of whom are Nobel Laureates, charged that the Bush Administration manipulated and censored science by "suppressing, distorting and manipulating the work done by scientists at federal agencies."

The 46-page report from the Union of Concerned Scientists outlines instances that range from the publishing ban of a U.S. Department of Agriculture microbiologist's finding that potentially harmful airborne bacteria float in the air surrounding large hog farms, to public health experts being removed from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lead paint advisory panel and replaced with researchers who had financial ties to the lead industry.

Science has always been tweaked on occasion for political reasons, and to say that it hasn't would be false. But it would seem that the distortion and suppression has reached endemic blatancy, and cleanroom and contamination-control experts cannot allow this philosophy to affect their mission in combating environmental, health, and safety issues, ranging from shoddy drug and food production to worker protection.

The federal government cannot make sound decisions if solid information from independent researchers is excluded or distorted, and the case brought forth by the Union of Concerned Scientist should be investigated to determine if this administration is truly undermining the integrity of science.


Notice anything different about this issue? We would like to think that the CleanRooms BIOTECHNOLOGY section (beginning on page 22) is hard to miss, for it covers some very useful topics.

One article is an argument for increased automation in the life sciences as a means of economizing the myriad highly-detailed, yet repetitive process steps. How to do it in the cleanroom is discussed as well.

Going paperless sounds good on paper, and when 21 CFR Part 11 emerged, the question was how to do it. A second article in this section discusses what it all means for your paperless environmental monitoring system.

And last but not least, a third article discusses monitoring isolators and cleanrooms for biocontamination. Recent testing reveals new findings from air sampling with antimicrobial agents.

We hope to continue this kind of coverage, and, as always, your comments and questions are welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Mark A. DeSorbo
Associate Editor