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Army Science Board Nominee Subjected to Litmus Test

William E. Howard III, an engineer from McLean, VA, reported in a letter to Science that he was told by a member of the Army Science Board (ASB) staff that his nomination to the ASB, a Defense Department advisory panel, was rejected because he had contributed to the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain (R-AZ).1 Howard says he never made such a contribution; instead, as it turns out, someone with a similar name (William S. Howard) had contributed the money.

The mix up only compounds the administration’s ill-considered practice. As Howard puts it, “The country is not being well-served by any administration’s policy of seeking advice only from a group of scientists and engineers who have passed the administration’s political litmus test.”2


Note:This page is an excerpt from the 2004 UCS report Scientific Integrity in Policymaking.

1. W.E. Howard III, “Advice without dissent at the DOD” (letter), Science, November 15, 2002.
2. Ibid.

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