Obama and Science
The election of Barak Obama last night has rightly brought about a whole lot of cheers from the scientific community. I suspect large majority of scientist supported Obama’s candidacy and he was even endorsed by more than seventy Nobel laureates, including this year’s winner in Chemistry. Given the embarrassingly idiotic anti-science stance of his opponent, this was no surprise.
The next question is obviously, how will an Obama administration actually help science ? Noted science writer and blogger Chris Mooney addresses the question in details.
Personally, I am quite pragmatic about any real changes in scientific policy that will directly affect me. Given the budget deficits and the grim economic scenario, I am not expecting a NIH budget-doubling any time soon.
However, what I do find comforting (and I am pretty much echoing most scientists here) is that come January 20th next year, USA will be lead by a person, who is clearly well-educated, has an understanding and respect for science – shown by his articulate response to SciDebate08 questions – and does not indulge in the anti-intellectual rhetoric of the current administration.
It is also interesting to note that apparently this is the first time in history that both the president and vice-presidents along with their spouses have some connection with higher education.
Taken together, the Obamas and the Bidens have amassed decades of experience at colleges and universities. Mr. Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 until 2004, when he took office in the U.S. Senate. His wife, Michelle, has worked in the administration at the same university and is on leave from her job as vice president for community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals.
The Bidens also have spent considerable time in academe. For the past 17 years, Mr. Biden has taught as an adjunct professor at the Widener University School of Law. His wife, Jill, is an English instructor at Delaware Technical and Community College’s Stanton-Wilmington campus. (link)