Lamar Smith, Republican representative from Texas’s 21st congressional district, which covers parts of San Antonio and most of its northern suburb/exurbs, showcases the vast ignorance and hypocritical desires for censorship of ideas it dislikes that has corrupted today’s Republican Party and turned it into an illiberal organization of national embarrassment and worldwide disrepute.
Somehow, Lamar Smith ascended to the chairmanship of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology despite having no scientific background and standing athwart the tide of scientific progress. He’s used his chairmanship to harass scientists and promote conspiracies, delusions, and outright lies to the American people.
Lamar Smith Denies Science
A prolific climate change denier, Lamar Smith claimed that an Obama-administration report on climate “intended to frighten Americans into believing that any abnormal weather we experience is the direct result of human CO2 emissions.” A whopping 97 percent of climate scientists agree that humans have caused climate change.
Smith believes in the so-called “global warming pause,” a theory which cherrypicks data to argue that temperatures haven’t actually risen in the years since 1998. Of course, this theory is utter bogus and finds support only among the scientifically illiterate buffoons hell-bent on promoting pseudo-science and undermining the intelligence of the American people.
He thinks peer-reviewed scientific findings using methods he cannot begin to comprehend have actually been fudged with public scientists “altering the data” to “advanced [the Obama administration’s] extreme climate change agenda.” Again, 97 percent of all climate change scientists disagree with Lamar Smith, who has received more than $700,000 in campaign contributions from energy companies.
Speaking of peer-review, Lamar Smith isn’t a fan of the system that verifies scientific findings and maintains the high-quality of published research. Smith wants to overhaul how the National Science Foundation (NSF) applies for and is awarded grants for scientific research.
Politically-Motivated Scientific Censorship
Currently, the NSF has two existing criteria for grant applicaitons: Intellectual merit and broader impacts of the research. These two prongs encourage research freedom and promote ideas that benefit all fields of study. Politics do not influence grant application and awarding, a clear must as politically-motivated science will never have rigour and credibility.
But Lamar Smith wants all research grants awarded solely by what the House of Representatives — a chamber dominated by Republicans entirely resistant to science and its findings — defines as in the national security interest or which help boost the economy. This will naturally preclude most social science research and other explorations into important subjects that help us understand our society and guide policymaking in ways unrelated to what Lamar Smith finds useful. Research into climate change would of course be stopped.
To boost his lost cause, Smith had committee aides go to the NSF and review its grants and research, ostensibly to find wasteful use of taxpayer money, but obviously to exert political review of the scientific process. Quite clearly, this entire affair reeks of attempted political censorship on science simply because Lamar Smith and his unenlightened colleagues detest the results of peer-reviewed, high quality science.
Such desires for political censorship have continued, with Lamar Smith, at a conference held by the Heartland Institute, which prides itself as being the organization most resistant to climate science, expressed support for punishing “scientific journals that publish research that doesn’t fit standards of peer review crafted by Smith and the committee (although he didn’t say how that would be accomplished).”
Lamar Smith wants science to be beholden to political interests. NO science should be conducted that may challenge his bizarre worldview; no research can be of merit if doesn’t align with what Smith finds important. Authoritarian and totalitarian countries try to control science and its findings. The Soviet Union infamously did so to further its propaganda. No country benefits when science must be politically correct and controlled by ignorant bureaucrats — no society remains free when the government controls all it dislikes.
In what way is this anything other than an attempt to limit the intelligence and knowledge of man to the doctrines the Republican Party finds acceptable?