Monday, January 07, 2008

Science and the presidential election

Nothing really new from me here but saw some good blogs on the topic of science and the presidential election.

Steve Salzberg has summary information and some comments here.
Popular Mechanics has some info here
The ever active Bora has some comments here
Wired has a bit here

My little bit .... I think science is clearly not strongly supported by the current administration. However, scientists need to be careful about how they word things, since in the end, we are asking for money from taxpayers to, well, pay our salaries and pay for our work. This is one of the reasons I am very strongly in support of "open science." The more open we scientists are, I think, the easier it is to justify to the "public" that we deserve some of their/our money. That is not to say that lots of taxpayer money is not completely wasted on other things. And even not completely open science is frequently good for the world. But openness should help make scientists not seem so ivory toweresque and would show that we want to give back in exchange for what we are given.


  1. I agree with your comment on the importance of being open. The most worrisome issue that I see with the upcoming election is that in the whole lot of candidates, there isn't one from either party who gives me the impression that they understand how science 'works'.

  2. I think perhaps that is too much to ask for. Although I think it is pretty clear that my favorite candidate gets how science works. It is just that Gore is not going to run again.

  3. It may be too much to ask for, but it shouldn't be. Now having an actual scientist in office might be too much; I'd settle for somebody who can just articulate how science connects with many of the other platform issues (beyond the glib campaigny speech stuff). With Gore, we actually had a potential candidate to fit the bill - a really smart guy who understands how science and politics can work together. Were Gore running, he'd have my vote in a picosecond.