Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Energy Secretary Quietly Dismantles Independent Science Advisory Board

Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman has quietly disbanded the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB), the department’s “principal independent advisory board on scientific and technical matters,” reports Nature magazine.

The board, established by President Carter in 1978, is “a mix of distinguished scientists, such as Nobel laureate Burton Richter, and business executives, such as former ExxonMobil chairman Lee Raymond.”

The Energy Department said the board is no longer necessary because Bodman has his own “scientific” background. But Bodman isn’t the first Energy secretary with scientific training. James D. Watkins, President George H.W. Bush’s Energy Secretary who received his masters degree in mechanical engineering and completed a reactor engineering course at the Oak Ridge

National Laboratory, kept the panel in place during his tenure.

Nature has another theory on why Bodman may have dismantled the board — disagreement with the federal government’s priorities.

NOTE: Access to the Nature article requires a subscription

Here is a link to the members of the board. Ask them what they think of the disbanding.


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