But in the case of Yucca Mountain, the reverse happened: Government officials "scientized" politics. They made decisions that were largely political but cloaked them in the garb of science.
In 2002, the Energy Secretary concluded an exhaustive analysis regarding nuclear waste disposal at Yucca Mountain - "the most studied real estate on the planet," Sen. James Inhofe called it. Yet in 2009 Pres. Barack Obama killed the project and his press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said "I think the President has come down on whether or not [Yucca Mountain] makes sense based on the science", exactly the opposite of what the science actually said. How did that come to pass?
As Dawn Stover in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists writes:
First, Congress used politics to get the scientific answer it wanted. Two decades later, Obama leaned on science for the political result he wanted. When the music stopped, taxpayers and nuclear power plant operators found themselves right back where they started: with no waste-disposal solution in sight.The "scientization" of Yucca Mountain by Dawn Stover, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists