HENRY A. WAXMAN: KEEPING HOUSE
To hear Henry A. Waxman bemoan how predetermined beliefs are jeopardizing scientific freedom, you might think you are in another age or in some struggling new country. But there, outside his corner office, is the gleaming dome of the Capitol, its perimeter tightened with bollards and the latest surveillance. "Science is very much under attack with the Bush administration," Waxman declares from his suite in the Rayburn Office Building. "If the science doesn't fit what the White House wants it to be, it distorts the science to fit into what its preconceived notions are about what it wants to do."
As the ranking minority member on the House Government Reform Committee, the 64-year-old California Democrat has become a leading voice railing against the White House's science policy--or lack thereof. The charges are not new--word of such politicization began percolating almost as soon as George W. Bush took office, and until recently, many scientists who complained in private held their tongues in public. Waxman has given scientists' fears a voice, and a growing crowd of scientific organizations, advocacy groups and former officials are adding to the chorus.
This article was originally published with the title Science's Political Bulldog.