The attack on science and a free press, part 3

This week’s Nature (19 Feb 2004, p. 663), features an article on the Treasury Department’s embargo on scientific manuscripts from Iran, Libya, Sudan, and Cuba.  What the hell happened to the First Amendment, as Blake at American Footprint points out? 

How exactly does this protect our national security?  How does it encourage the governments and citizens of these countries to embrace democratic principles, when we’re not following them ourselves? 

My good friend and colleague, Carl Lipo, was scheduled to leave for Iran next week, as part of the first archaeological expedition to that country in 25 years.  Through the Pinpoint Foundation, a project of Pinpoint Venture Group, we’d just finished funding acquisition of new ground-penetrating radar equipment for use on this (and other projects).  The State Department imposed restrictions recent on “sensitive equipment” such as GPS, magnetometers, ground-penetrating radars, and other gear which is crucial for archaeological research today.  The project may – or may not – get permission to continue in the autumn of 2004.  I certainly hope so. 

The attack against science, free thought, and open discussion of issues such as genetics, stem cell research, and climate change is well underway and clearly going to be an issue in this election (behind jobs and national security).  I hope everyone concerned about this makes their worries known to the Kerry campaign, along with their campaign contributions.   


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