Joined: 23 Sep 2006
|Posted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:19 pm Post subject: Chernobyl Psych-Ops ?
|[source: American Scientist, Nov.-Dec. 2006, "Growing Up with
Chernobyl" by Ronald K. Chesser and Robert J. Baker]
"SCIENTISTS MUST HAVE A SINGLE AGENDA: THE TRUTH," IS ONE OF
THE LESSONS THAT TWO AMERICAN BIOLOGY PROFESSORS HIGHLIGHT in a
review of their 12 years of studying wildlife at the site of the
The two professors from Texas Tech were
astounded to discover an abundant and thriving ecosystem around
Chernobyl in 1994, just eight years after the accident, and
report that they are still challenged by what they found
there--higher than normal radiation levels with no marked genetic
effects on the wildlife, and very complex ecological variables.
This unusual article admits that the authors, Ronald Chesser and
Robert Baker, were "terribly naive about radioecology and the
politics of scientific research when we first started," and state
that they wrote this article to share some "brief lessons" of
what they learned there: "Beautiful theories are often destroyed
by ugly facts," "Real progress often requires a change in
direction," "Don't forget about history," "It's always wise to
maintain some humility," "Incredible results require incredible
evidence," "A good idea doesn't always attract funding," and "Be
prepared to be unpopular and uncomfortable."
Early on in their work, Chesser and Baker published an
article in Nature magazine reporting on elevated genetic mutation
in moles at Chernobyl. Soon after publication, they acquired a
more sophisticated DNA sequencer and ran their tissue samples
again. They wrote, "To our horror, the more accurate method
failed to find an elevated mutation rate, even though we repeated
the sequencing several times." They wanted to retract the Nature
article, although not all of their coauthors initially agreed;
but in the end they all signed a brief retraction.
Chesser and Baker describe the confusing propaganda around
radiation damage and projected deaths from Chernobyl, but they
fall short of accusing greenwashed scientists and others of
scaremongering and lying. They do, however, give anti-nuclear
researchers and others some useful reminders that the agenda of
science is "truth."
"It is through beauty, that one proceeds to freedom." - Friedrich Schiller