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Science and the Obama Administration

by Rachel Levitt


Tags: Science and technology, politics, policy, President Obama, education, scientific research, Seed, Huffington Post, Freedom to Tinker, Scientific American,

In his inauguration speech, President Obama promised that America will “restore science to its rightful place.” But what exactly does that mean? Several bloggers and columnists from around the web have weighed in on what the Obama administration can and should do to further scientific discovery and maintain the United States’ position as a leader in research and innovation.

In Seed Magazine49 Nobel Laureates wrote a letter outlining their plan for reinvigorating American science. The current economic bailout could represent “a vital investment in America's future,” the authors write, if some of that money goes to scientific projects and research.

Science education should be the focus for Obama and his new secretary of education, Arne Duncan, according to Bill Allen at the Huffington Post. He calls for the support of both the government and citizens to make “America the country of the scientifically-literate and the mathematically-competent.”

Over at Princeton’s Freedom to Tinker blog, Ed Felton concentrates on the need for developing and strengthening cyber technology and security, as well as a bridge of communication between the government and scientific leaders in order to benefit both sectors. 

As for Obama’s promise to use technology to improve health care, Scientific American interviewed Lawrence Baker (a professor of health policy at Stanford), who insists that “The most health care isn't always the best health care. Decisions about value is probably the key.” New developments are only part of the puzzle, using the right technology for the patient is another.

tr
1/31/2009 8:13:29 AM

Suggest getting down to pratical life and human community suportive and sustainable scientific research and attendent to human and earthlife needs non-invasive, human and earth immune-system cooperative technologies. To begin: 1) Locally generatable solar, wind, hydro-fuel-cell, geothermal, small water power devices which generate more useable electrity than cost in dollars and environmental overall footprint. Make the publically owned electrical powergrids buy back at the commerical going rates any excess wattage locally generated and distribute same where needed for non-polluting regional and national good for all uses. Get scientifically and technologically open and real with with one another, We The People all, about our longtime technical ability as a sane and well intentioned society to produce non-polluting hydrogen fuel cell commuter cars and commerical trucks. Be real about the idiocy of ethanol produced by commerical agricultually produced crops. Be real about the need for our nation's and our planet's whole citizenry's need to grow and community market healthy locally-produced organically grown agricultural products. Be real about the real costs to our whole environment and economy of our U.S. government subsidized agri-business model of common practice yeilding our rapidly thinning topsoil layers, our petro-chemical fertilizer run-off pollution of land and water and air, our unsustainable use of expensive and wasteful irrigation of the rapidly consequently growing arid areas of our nation and planet. Get real about our human need for local community of mutually reponse able to their locally mostly sustainable by ourselves needs to farm and do commerce with one another at that local trustworthy face to face neighbor to neighbor level where folks will pitch in to help one another and run out on a rail or other public transport any grifters and con-artists who are thinking of more than just passing through our healthy mature human and wi