Science and the Obama Administration

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.

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