Resnik recommends a watchdog committee to oversee the rights to freedom of speech of government scientists. This seems to me a very good idea. He suggests that this might be done by the AAAS, and I would suggest that it might also be done by the National Academies.
I would dispute one of Resnik's conclusions. He correctly recognizes that governments have to make decisions on the allocation of scarce resources, and states:
Government agencies use peer review committees to decide which research proposals should be funded. Scientists who are denied funding by a federal agency are still free to conduct their research using funds from a different source, such as a private company, university, or foundation.Unfortunately, political ideology sometimes trumps the recommendations of impartial peer review panels, and I think Resnik may underestimate the power of political officials to retaliate financially against scientists who displease them or threaten to challenge their pet myths with scientific observations. I think government scientists and scientists seeking government funding need institutionalized protection mechanisms against inappropriate political interference with the funding process. Fortunately, a free press, the Congressional checks to administration power, and non-governmental organizations such as the Union of Concerned Scientists and the AAAS provide some such mechanisms. Still, more might be done, perhaps by reviving a scientific advisory body for the Congress extending the functions of the long lost Office of Technology Assessment.