Image: Kerrys at brain research center
Michael Dwyer  /  AP
Sen. John Kerry and his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry stand alongside Patrick McGovern at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Friday.
updated 11/4/2005 8:56:04 PM ET 2005-11-05T01:56:04

Democratic Sen. John Kerry said Friday that science is under attack by right-wing ideologues and the Bush administration, citing their “rigid refusal to listen to what the earth is trying to tell us.”

Speaking at the dedication of a new brain research center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kerry said attacks on science have resulted in “a shortsighted period in the American experience” where “facts are ignored and obscured and distorted.”

Bush has been criticized for limiting federal research dollars for embryonic stem cells, which are seen as a potential source of replacement tissue for people with a variety of ailments, and for his policies on the environment and global warming.

“We see it in the rigid refusal to listen to what the earth is trying to tell us about the condition of the air and water and land that surround us and sustain us,” Kerry said, adding that “federal science and research boards are being stacked with partisans and ideologues.”

Kerry also joked about losing to Bush a year ago in the presidential election.

“I must tell you there are times when I wish we weren’t here researching brain concerns but a time machine to have the election today rather than last year,” he said, referring to polls showing waning public support for the president.

Tracey Schmitt, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, dismissed the criticism, saying Kerry’s “newfound interest in science is a derivative of his longing to travel back in time and run a cohesive campaign.”

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