Two examples of government meddling in dissemination of research findings.
The National Academy of Sciences has decided to publish a paper describing the vulnerability of the nation’s milk supply to terrorist attack (yes, it’s a serious paper), despite a letter from the Department of Health and Human Services saying that publication would provide”a road map for terrorists” and not be “in the interests of the United States.”
In the second, it is the Indian government, concerned by monsoon forecasts, saying that (a) they compete with 'official' forecasts, and (b) they might 'confuse' the markets that depend on the forecasts and research data. In his Hindu op-ed, Ramachandran points out that the competing forecasts are based on different modelling techniques (so, they are important and useful for tweaking all the monsoon models). He goes on to say that this sort of reporting is done routinely by foreign agencies and researchers; since they cannot be controlled by the government, all that we have achieved is in tying down our own researchers with such silly constraints.
By the way, here is an interesting report in the Financial Times about how the Indian economy is slowly becoming decoupled from the monsoons (Read it in the next couple of days before it goes behind the paywall):
The figures released Thursday provide the latest evidence of the weakening link between rural incomes and industrial activity thanks to the rise of a mass affluent middle class, a booming export sector and the growing availability of rural credit.
The farming sector, which accounts for one-fifth of GDP and supports more than 600m Indians, has historically had a domino effect throughout the economy because of its influence on demand for manufactured goods such as motorbikes and tractors.
Economists at the National Council for Applied Economic Reasearch say the correlation between monsoon rainfall, a proxy for farm production, and the following year's industrial output, has fallen to 0.13 for 1999-2003 from 0.90 for 1994-98.