The people who brought you terminological inexactitudes like “death tax,” “the clear skies initiative” and “mission accomplished” have now polluted the language of science. Any research finding they agree with (which isn’t much) is labeled as “sound science”and any research finding they disagree with (which is much) is labeled “junk science.”
Finally, a major news outlet, Knight Ridder Newspapers, is exposing the rhetorical perversions, example by example. Previously, author and Chris Mooney did so quite effectively in the book “The Republican War Against Science.”
There ought to be plenty of room to argue about what constitutes a valid scientific conclusion, but in the end, science policy must be based on evidence, not on the mudslinging of industry-backed lobbyists and modern day Know Nothings who, when they don’t like a real study, go out and create their own.
When ideology trumps evidence, the process isn’t sound science at all. It’s just the sound of science.