The Energy Department removed a St. Louis scientist from a select group picked by the Obama administration to pursue a solution to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico because of writings on his website about homosexuality and race relations.
-- From "Scientist booted off oil panel over writing" by Combined Dispatches, posted at Washington Times 5/20/10
Washington University physics professor Jonathan Katz was one of five top scientists chosen by the Department of Energy and attended meetings in Houston last week.
Mr. Katz is a leading scientist, but his website postings often touch on social issues. Some of those writings include defenses of "homophobia" and doubts about the value of racial preferences and similar diversity efforts.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu was not aware of Mr. Katz's writings before selecting him for the panel, spokeswoman Stephanie Mueller told the Associated Press. It was not immediately clear how the department became aware of the writings.
"Dr. Chu has spoken with dozens of scientists and engineers as part of his work to help find solutions to stop the oil spill," a statement from the Energy Department said. "Some of Professor Katz's controversial writings have become a distraction from the critical work of addressing the oil spill. Professor Katz will no longer be involved in the Department's efforts."
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