John Marburger, Bush Science Adviser, Dies


PORT JEFFERSON, N.Y., July 31 (UPI) — John H. “Jack” Marburger, who served as chief science adviser to President George W. Bush, has died at his home in Port Jefferson, N.Y., officials said.

Marburger died Thursday of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the Washington Post reported. He was 70.

Marburger served as Bush’s head science adviser for eight years and was roundly criticized by the scientific community, which said he sold out his scientific credentials to satisfy Bush’s political positions, the Post said.

Marburger — a prominent physicist — served as president of Stony Brook University in New York and as the head of a national laboratory before joining the Bush administration. He held the job of science adviser longer than anyone before him.

His early work for the Bush administration focused on ways to prevent and fight terrorist attacks.

After Bush took office in 2001, the administration pulled its support for the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement to fight global warming. Bush also restricted the use of embryonic stem cells, saying they were derived from the destruction of human embryos.

As a result, more than 60 top scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates, published an open letter in February 2004 claiming the Bush administration “systematically” twisted or ignored key scientific findings. Four months later, 48 Nobel Prize winners sent a similar letter that singled out Marburger.

In that letter Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner called Marburger a prostitute.

“I actually feel very sorry for Marburger,” Gardner told National Public Radio, “because I think he probably is enough of a scientist to realize that he basically has become a prostitute.”

Marburger never flinched and never fought back, the Post said.

John Harmen Marburger III was born Feb. 8, 1941, in Staten Island, N.Y. He graduated from Princeton University in 1962, earned a doctorate in applied physics from Stanford University in 1967 and joined the faculty at the University of Southern California as a theoretical physicist.

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