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December 10, 2003

So what do we know about John Marburger, George Bush's science and technology adviser, and the man the US has just announced will speak for them at the summit (he replaces Mr Who)?

According to this profile, Marburger - an authority on nonlinear optics - is a natural shmoozer, whose influence has grown in the wake of the Sept 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Apparently, "he volunteers that he is a lifelong Democrat. He is a supporter of nuclear power. He believes marshalling public support is vital to any civic enterprise. He tells associates he is an "incurable optimist," an outlook that the president shares...."

His strong points should overcome the obstacles [to gaining influence] - especially if Bush believes his new science adviser can strengthen or add new insights to the administration's battle against terrorism. Marburger's public relations skills will be invaluable.

"He's very friendly, very personable, a gentleman," said Connie Kepert, a member of the citizens' advisory council created by Marburger. Kepert told Newsday, a Long Island newspaper, "He really gave people the feeling that he really did care about their concerns." And Charles Shank, director of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in California said recently, "His real strength is as a communicator. There's a whole range of people who are great scientists but few who are great scientists and great communicators, too."
David Steven @ December 10, 2003 09:39 AM

Comments (4)
Let's face it, Mr. Marburger is a republican lackey charged with manipulating, and in some cases flat out ignoring, scientific data in order to further the Bush agenda. Plain and simple.
Clint Carruth @ February 19, 2004 06:32 PM
You may be right, but I'd like mre information. I do not trust the Bush administration.
emily lawrence @ February 19, 2004 07:05 PM
Do you knonw what a shmoozer is? He/she is a yes person. But not one who just says "yes, it can be done!" This person says virtually yes to everything. Is the sky (brown, blue, pink, etc) today? Yes, whatever you say Mr President.

Look up the word "sycophant" in the Oxford English Dictionary and, not this edition but next year's edition, you might see Marburger's smiling face!!
Terry Johsnon @ February 23, 2004 05:28 AM
"Sound Science"
("Sound Science" is the double-speak Bush and his buddies use for bogus research bought for the benefit of their agenda or for big business)

Three hundred years of Western science
Were intended to reduce reliance
On charlatans and superstition
Improving knowledge, health, nutrition.
Humans were expected to progress
Out of an obscurantist mess,
And, alchemy and ignorance spent,
Proceed to their enlightenment,
At a steady but increasing rate.
Our progress seemed inviolate.

But optimists were disconcerted,
For part of science was perverted,
Co-opted for warfare and destruction,
And less for improvement and instruction.
Some scientists, the egotistic,
Made names mis-using the statistic;
Others in pursuit of wealth,
Endangered other people’s health.
Bit by bit respect was wrecked
By commercializing the suspect.
Some facts once seen as proved, objective,
Emerged as just a bit subjective.

This has given the ideologue
The chance to cast a gloomy fog
Over the work of honest men,
Questioning their acumen,
And claiming what is wrong as right,
That morning is, in fact, the night.
The right wing’s devious technique
Is to adopt the double-speak
That we were warned about before
In Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty Four”:
Big Brother, straight-faced, telling you
That four plus four makes only two.

“Sound Science” is when they infer
Some “facts” from the Apocrypha.
It’s when the ignorant react
To consensus and to fact
By appointing some ambitious buddy
To conduct yet one more bogus study,
Making sure that he’s agreed
To postulate just what they need.

Hell-bent they are on mis-informing
The public about global warming,
Mounting an unwarranted attack
Via some scientific hack
On what real scientists have proved.
Faced with research they are un-moved,
Determined as they are to foil
An awkward challenge to Big Oil.
Research deemed inconvenient
Is trashed. The Right invent
Some specious reason for retraction
To postpone the obvious need for action.
These Tweedledums and Tweedle-dees
Will ruin him who disagrees,
And in good family men engender
The need to bow to their agenda.

Who knows what “facts” we’re faced with next,
Culled from some religious text,
To which the “chosen” are addicted
(Biblically contradicted!).
Against the weight of weighty science
The born-again yell their defiance,
And claim against all common sense,
And overwhelming evidence,
That everything from peak to beak,
As is, was made in just a week;
When to others it seems evident
That un-versed Hebrews were intent
On trying to explain the world around them,
And its wonders as they found them;
And (a bit of introspection)
Why Man displays such imperfection.
So, just like Jonah and the whale,
They devised a clever fairy-tale.

Fast forward now four thousand years
Rumours or wars and vales of tears.
We find the planet still is wracked
With faith that masquerades as fact.
Beware! Palmists return like ancient times
And fortune-tellers with their signs,
The ignorant, the sycophant,
The weirdo preacher, full of cant;
Poseurs and liars, those who rant,
Trying to be relevant,
Perverting science and the law
In ways we can no more ignore.
These men turn back history’s pages
To before the Middle Ages,
Without the slightest inhibition,
To the days of superstition.
And why? Truth-twisters simply want to collar
One more measly extra dollar.

Enough’s enough
Stand firm and tough!
No triumph of ideology
Anathema to you and me!

Robert Hanrott @ March 21, 2004 04:56 PM

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