We gave Deutsch too much credit

This political hack who was dictating the interpretation of science to scientists was a college dropout.

His sole qualification for his job was his enthusiasm for George W. Bush—where have we heard that before?

The story has been confirmed in the most emphatic way: Deutsch has resigned. It’s not quite over, though, and it’s clear that James Hansen is going to keep pushing.

Yesterday, Dr. Hansen said that the questions about Mr. Deutsch’s credentials were important, but were a distraction from the broader issue of political control of scientific information.

“He’s only a bit player,” Dr. Hansen said of Mr. Deutsch. ” The problem is much broader and much deeper and it goes across agencies. That’s what I’m really concerned about.”

“On climate, the public has been misinformed and not informed,” he said. “The foundation of a democracy is an informed public, which obviously means an honestly informed public. That’s the big issue here.”


  1. Melanie Reap says

    Deutsch should be fired for lying. He has also disconected himself from whatever ties he had to Texas A&M. The Aggie Honor Code states that “Aggies neither lie, cheat, nor steal or tolerate those who do.” He lied; therefore, he is no longer an Aggie.

    Melanie – A&M Classes of ’81 and ’87 (in AGRICULTURE no less!)

  2. Melanie Reap says

    I can’t edit for diddly on these things. I just don’t see the typos.


  3. says

    Uh-oh, you’ve just used the ‘No True Aggie’ fallacy! ;-)

    Seriously, maybe we can get him to go on Oprah and she can tear him a new one for deceiving… oh, never mind.

  4. Tara Mobley says

    Oh for…he doesn’t even have a degree in his reported major? You’re right, we gave him too much credit.

  5. bunny says

    Of course even if he did have a degree, it would have been in journalism. I wouldn’t call him qualified to comment on science even if he had graduated.

    Of course the issue here isn’t the sex^h^h^h science, it’s the lying.

  6. Sean Foley says

    I hope this new revelation doesn’t mean that TBogg must now retract the string of Aggie jokes he made in the wake of this affair.

    (Full disclosure: I’m a grad student at Texas Tech)

  7. says

    I think this should re-emphasize the Aggie jokes, after all this guy really was a dumb Aggie.

    (Full disclosure: My sister-in-law is an Aggie and so is one of my best friends. I, however, am a LONGHORN.) :-)

  8. Anonymous says

    Although I didn’t mention Deutsch by name, I did try to make his leader, the Steely Eyed Rocket Man look bad in a recent letter to the editor. Since Deutsch’s goal in life is to make Bush look good, it’s the least I could do for payback. Alas, it was only in the on-line letters of the San Jose Merc. Copied below …

    Michael Korn (Letters Feb 6) defends President Bush against a charge of being anti-science, and further asserts that Bush is well-educated. If Bush, with his BA in History from Yale, failed to understand that calling for a “Crusade” against bin Laden was a poor choice of words, we can only assume his knowledge outside of his major is gossamer.

    Bush repeatedly demonstrates a disdain for facts that disagree with his partisan interests. Why should science fare any better than reality in general? His administration has most recently taken its attack on science to NASA, where political appointees lacking the most rudimentary knowledge of science rewrite and even suppress scientific information based on their partisan and fundamentalist ideologies. This corruption of NASA’s fundamental mission has become a scandal in scientific circles, and Bush is the root cause.

    George W. Bush isn’t just anti-science; he’s anti-knowledge.

  9. Doozer says

    He was scheduled to graduate in ’03, and dropped out at the end of the ’04 school year? OK, I don’t know the guy’s story, but something doesn’t sound right there, unless he was doing post-grad work of some kind. But then, I think his friend on the paper would have known. Color me confused…

  10. Steve LaBonne says

    With apologies to Brad DeLong: the Bush Administration is worse than you can possibly imagine, even after you have taken account of the fact that the Bush Administration is worse than you can possibly imagine.

  11. Sean Foley says

    He was scheduled to graduate in ’03, and dropped out at the end of the ’04 school year? OK, I don’t know the guy’s story, but something doesn’t sound right there, unless he was doing post-grad work of some kind.

    My guess is that he entered A&M in the fall of 1999 and, had he been able to meet all his requirements in four years, would have been scheduled to graduate in 2003. Texas Tech has had serious problems in getting its undergrads out in four years as required courses are often oversubscribed. I wouldn’t be surprised if similar conditions exist at A&M.

  12. says

    This, from the Washington Post, is pretty disturbing:

    ‘This Administration has been very supportive of science,’ Bush’s science adviser and respected physicist John Marburger told Time. ‘The President wants us to do it right, and doesn’t want us to do things that contradict the laws of nature.’

    It’s one thing for an uneducated hack with a patronage position to misunderstand and abuse science. It’s another for a ‘respected physicist’ to use nonsensical anti-Frankenstein rhetoric when he’s supposedly defending the adminstration’s record on science…

  13. Captain Sunshine says


    An Aggie so dumb he couldn’t even graduate from A&M.
    Now THAT’S funny.

    (Easy joke. No, Aggies aren’t dumb. Way too proud of themselves, maybe. But not dumb. Except for this guy.)

    (Rice Owl, here. Stupid dog.)


  14. Spotted Quoll says

    This story just gets better and better. Or worse and worse.

    I can’t even laugh at it anymore. I am too angry and scared for the future of science and society.

    The one good thing that has come out of this is how quickly Deutsch was exposed and dealt with. Serious brownie points to James Hansen, and a few to the blogosphere too.

    Maybe it will also help inform the general population to what is happening to science under BushCo.

  15. Tim at NASA says

    Yesterday we had a briefing from the Goddard Space Flight Center Director, Dr. Ed Weiler, on Hansen’s allegations against NASA headquarters PR department. It seems that several other incidents of this type of behavior have been reported at several levels.

    These include the PR department objecting to the use of the word “evolution” in the context of NASA websites describing star formation processes as well as demands that the word theory be inserted after mention of any theory example given was PR objections to the use of the term “Big Bang”. Remember, “its a theory not a fact”

    Weiler also indicated that the NASA administrator, Mike Griffin takes a dim view of this type of interference and stated that the issue will be rectified.

  16. says

    Melanie – Nice to hear you supported our boys. Keep your eyes open in March, our basketball team is pretty good too. :-)

    I am a UT grad, BA Computer Science 1999. Lifetime member of the Texas Exes. Hook’em