Ryerson's description of what science is about is not accurate.
Science is about the objective search for the truth. I don't recall in school learning that the scientific method involves selective use and manipulation of data to get a hoped for result. Science must be objective - the search for the truth regardless of what that truth is. We as a society are going down a very dangerous road when we allow science to be politicized. Yet that has happened with respect to the global warming debate.
Indianapolis Star reader Frank Sparzo from Fishers wrote a letter to the editor which appears in today's paper. He says it better than I could have:
Brooks says that government is usually a contest between competing, unequal truths.
That may be a comforting idea for those who govern, and Brooks and Ryerson, but not for science. Good decisions about complex matters should be based on good science, not on how many "scientists" are on one or another side of an issue.
Science is a public enterprise. Fundamentally, the issue is not so much about competing "truths," as Brooks and Ryerson would have us believe, but about the process by which scientific data are found, collected and reported. Any hint that scientific research systematically excludes sound contradictory evidence, keeping such evidence from being public, should signal a thorough review of the science in question.
Good science is necessarily interested in contrary evidence. Good government decisions ought to be, too.