Bravo to Fred Weir for detailing how the United States covertly influenced the reelection of Boris Yeltsin in 1996 in his Jan. 30 OneWeek article, “Why Russians have soured on US.” The irony is sharp in light of today’s hot issue of Russian interference in the US election, and the article is a potent reminder that abuse of power wears no single political party ID. Also, it reminds us that issues of political contention are complex beyond our imagining.
Politics and science
The Monitor showed its well-known balance in covering the issue of climate control in the Feb. 13 Focus story, “For scientists, this time feels different.” There is, however, a deeper issue that underpins this story – the use of scientific methods in dealing with a broad range of national challenges. Demand for rigorous proof and documented validity is a way of life in the scientific world. A candidate stating that he uses “scientific thinking” might sound a bit pompous for general consumption, but there is a rough alternative that might work: “problem-solving.” Objective, non-ideological problem-solving might help stem the current temptation toward “fact-free” debate. Improving the dialogue between the traditional science community and the general public is one of the great imperatives of our time, and on this score, we scientists are currently woefully unprepared.
Dr. Allan Hauer
Work of art
Regarding Robert Klose’s Jan. 30 Home Forum essay, “How I stumbled upon a work of art in Greenland”: I always enjoy his pieces, but this one especially so. I did not notice the note at the bottom and simply turned the page and so was totally blown away to see the art he had written about. Fine art indeed! Thank you so very much.