Scientists relieved at end of Bush era





When he vowed in his inaugural address to "restore science to its rightful place," President Barack Obama signaled an end to eight years of stark tension between science and government.

But many of the Bush administration's restrictions on science, like those governing stem cell research, will take time to be removed. And whether the Obama administration entirely reverses strict controls over the government's main scientific agencies remains to be seen.

On issues like stem cells, climate change, sex education and contraceptives, the Bush administration sought to tame and, in some cases, suppress the findings of many of the government's scientific agencies. Besides discouraging scientific pronouncements that contradicted administration policies, officials insisted on tight control over even routine functions of key agencies.

In early 2004, more than 60 influential scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates, issued a statement claiming that the Bush administration had systematically distorted scientific fact in the service of policy goals on the environment, health, biomedical research and nuclear weaponry.





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