American Nobel Prize winners endorse Obama, by Jay McDonough
Seventy six American Nobel Prize winners endorsed Barack Obama in a strongly worded letter [pdf] rebuking the Bush Administration’s contempt for science.
During the administration of George W. Bush, vital parts of our country’s scientific enterprise have been damaged by stagnant and declining federal support. The government’s scientific advisory process has been distorted by political considerations. As a result, our once dominant position in the scientific world has been shaken and our prosperity has been placed at risk. We have lost time critical for the development of new ways to provide energy, treat disease, reverse climate change, strengthen our security, and improve our economy.
We have watched Senator Obama’s approach to these issues with admiration. We especially applaud his emphasis during the campaign on the power of science and technology to enhance our nation’s competitiveness. In particular, we support the measures he plans to take – through new initiatives in education and training, expanded research funding, an unbiased process for obtaining scientific advice, and an appropriate balance of basic and applied research – to meet the nation’s and the world’s most urgent needs.
Jay McDonough says, “I’m sure the decision to support Barack Obama was made a lot easier last week when Sarah Palin scoffed at the use of federal money for research using fruit flies. Most sixth graders know the dominant role fruit flies have played in the understanding of genetics, including the understanding of birth defect genetics. Or, perhaps, it was Ms. Palin’s belief that humans and dinosaurs inhabited the earth at the same time, about 6,000 years ago.”