“Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, 1847
The New York Times revealed the day before yesterday that the F.D.A. recently rid itself of disgruntled scientists who took exception to the agency’s medical review process. More specifically, the article noted that: “Moving to quell what one memorandum called the ‘collaboration’ of the F.D.A.’s opponents, the surveillance operation identified 21 agency employees, Congressional officials, outside medical researchers and journalists thought to be working together to put out negative and ‘defamatory’ information about the agency.”
I am disappointed by this revelation in relation to government officials that we’ve entrusted with safeguarding our public health. Modern science is hammered out upon the anvil of discussion, debate, dissent. Absent this, science becomes fanaticism.
“Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels – men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower