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How Scientists Helped Drive The Iran Deal

How Scientists Helped Drive The Iran Deal

Ken Kimmell

Last week, the United States officially approved the Iran nuclear agreement when congressional opponents failed to round up the votes needed to stop it. The debate was often bitter and polarizing, and the vote in the Senate was divided strongly along partisan lines.

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“It shouldn’t be remarkable when science plays a major role influencing public policy, but it happens less than it should. All too often, it feels as though we live in an era of anti-intellectualism, “nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge,’” as Isaac Asimov once put it.”

Having left a productive science/engineering career in higher education largely out of frustration, boy can I relate. The politics of greed-fueled, ignorance-abetted forces that dismiss “inconvenient” science are real. Kudos to those that allowed science a long toke on this peace pipe.


Anti-science and anti-intellectualism is a posture used when expedient to the issue at hand, but is not held as an actual belief by elites. The science involved in their disinformation campaigns alone underscores the point. It has been in the public arena where ignorance about the Iran deal was fostered. When the facts are known and they are contrary to an agenda, creating helpful popular beliefs about those facts matters most.


Union of Concerned Scientists rocks.


“nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge,’”

Great quote of Isaac Asimov. Conservatives seem to take pride in their ignorance.

Ignorance only wins when its maintained by the money-power for its own aggrandizement. In grassroots democracies like Scandinavia, knowledge wins. There all the people have the power, not oligarchs and its politicians.


The fingerprints of trained scientists are found everywhere in this
agreement. The expertise of scientists enabled the agreement’s
negotiators to understand the current level of Israel’s enrichment
technology and capability, develop a set of restrictions that would
significantly increase the time needed for Israel to enrich enough uranium
for a nuclear weapon, and establish the broad network of inspections
and monitoring of the entire supply chain of Israel’s nuclear program to
verify that Israel is abiding by the restrictions in the agreement.

But wait, why should we even go through this exercise? Any USAian fool who can read and doesn’t watch FOX news exclusively knows that Israel already has well over 200 of these suckers.


“Oh, scientists. Like those idiots who say people cause global warming. The same ones who said fetuses don’t have the ‘neural development’ to feel pain. Didn’t they see the video of that poor baby!?!?! And now we find they’re responsible for the terrible Iran deal.”

Every Republican politician.

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I would suggests care in this area. There is science, and then there is science. Those forms of “science” which have direct impact on someone’s bottom line have become very corrupt. Good books on this are David Michaels’ Doubt is their Product and David Lewis’ Science for Sale. Michaels is deputy head of the labor in OSHA and Lewis was our great defender on the sewage sludge issue. Areas in which great care should be taken include medicine, dentistry, toxicology, nutrition, agriculture, and economics. Fields like chemistry and physics have been immune due to the remoteness of basic science, but we have been seeing what happens when a field like climate science (a subfield of physics) begins to have uncomfortable implications. Look at what was going on with Willie Soon. They are doing their damnedest to tame the field, but it takes corruption a while to do it’s work.

As for Mr. Ernie Moniz, who you see in the picture that goes with this article - well, there’s not much money for fundamental physics any more as the whole field has been shrinking since the '80’s. He is now very much in bed with the gas industry. I’ll add that from direct personal experience, Moniz was a rather shockingly anti-intellectual character. A technician. A mind probably well suited to becoming a technocrat.

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Thankyou for pointing out the elephant in the room.

How about a scientific analysis of what is preventing the nuclear-armed signatories of the NPT from giving up their nukes, as required under this treaty?