Friday, January 10, 2003
1. CLOSER TO MIDNIGHT: THE MOUSE IS
North Korea today announced its withdrawal from the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty. The treaty dictates a 90-day cooling-off period before the withdrawal
becomes effective, but North Korea growled that it wasn't waiting. Six
months ago the U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty became official, following
a similar ninety-day cooling- off period (WN
14 Jun 02). They weren't entirely effective, but these two treaties
were all that stood in the way of a world-wide nuclear arms race. As if
to emphasize this point, Brazil's new Minister of Science declared they
too need the bomb.
2. MISSILE DEFENSE: NO INTERCEPT TESTING
"What's going on?," I asked Puff Panegyric at the Missile Defense Agency.
"I hear the next two scheduled tests of the ground-based mid- course interceptor
have been scrubbed, and no interceptor tests will be attempted before
fall. Deployment, however, is still set for the end of 2004." Puff shrugged,"you
have to set priorities in this game, the goal is to deploy. Management
feels testing threatens to divert us from that goal. As you know, we had
a booster-separation problem in the last test. That led to our new policy,
'deploy now, test later.' We find it keeps us right on schedule. We'll
have those missiles in silos by late summer of '04 whether they work or
not." "Thanks Puff, I'll sleep better."
3. MISCONDUCT: "THE SKEPTICAL ENVIRONMENTALIST"
Bjorn Lomborg, author of the 1999 best-seller, was found to be scientifically
dishonest by the Danish Research Agency, Denmark's equivalent of the National
Academy of Sciences. An associate professor at the University of Aarhus,
Lomborg concluded that the "air and water around us is becoming less and
less polluted." Industry-backed think tanks loved it, but a panel of scientists
responsible for investigating charges of scientific dishonesty found Lomborg
had been highly selective in his choice of data.
4. SCIENTIFIC HOAX? NO, NO, NOT THE
CLONING, MICHAEL GUILLEN.
We now learn that the scientist/journalist, who grandly announced that
he was accepting the responsibility of testing the Clonaid claim "on behalf
of the scientific community," tried to market an exclusive to the media
before Eve was born, which raises serious questions about his independence.
Even Fox Entertainment, which gave us such clasics as Alien Autopsy, declined
on ethical grounds. Wednesday, Guillen was interviewed by Charles Gibson
on ABC Good Morning America. "You are a Professor of Physics at Harvard?"
Gibson began, by way of establishing Guillen's credentials. "Yes," Guillen
mouthed. Whoa! Guillen is not a Professor of Physics at Harvard. I went
to American Men and Women of Science; the edition I had was 1995-96. His
autobiographical sketch says he's a member of the National Academy of
Sciences. He's not.