Leave it to a British publication to finally come out and ask a question that similar US organizations have sought to avoid; namely whether or not Intelligent Design should be taught in school.
US presidential candidate Barack Obama took up Nature's invitation to reply to some questions on science policy. McCain declined. Both candidates responded to questions presented by ScienceDebate 2008 but, surprisingly, the topic of evolution was not addressed in that. Fish hatcheries apparently being more important than science education in schools.
Macmillan Publishers Ltd.-owned Nature doesn't have the same political origin as Science Debate so their questions leaned a little less toward the liberal skew and a little more toward plain old science, namely in questions like 'should intelligent design be taught in school?' and 'will you fix the visas so we aren't educating scientists here and making them go back to their countries of origin?'
Nature does not completely lack for 'framing' - nowhere does Democrat Joe Biden, Obama's VP, get a mention but Sarah Palin's opinions on science are used as qualifiers twice, even though they are at odds with McCain, the actual person who would be president.
I can't say I'm a fan of using actual responses from Obama and then using responses extracted from prior McCain statements plus conjecture about his VP in lieu of actual responses but that was their editorial decision.
I think Obama is pandering to his hard left wing base a little bit in his hesitance about nuclear power but for the most part his responses are what we want from a president in a scientifically competitive 21st century.
He has put a hard number in a campaign promise, something McCain has not (on the contrary, cutting spending is part of McCain's campaign, so forcing all branches of government to be more efficient would likely mean an end to the spending increases NASA and the NIH had under Bush) and both are fans of the ridiculous 'cap and trade' placebo for reducing greenhouse gases.
Both candidates support lifting the ban on human embryonic stem cell research (thus my annoyance at Nature interjecting Palin's opinion on the matter yet never mention Biden's disagreement with Obama on oil drilling, for example) whereas McCain is clearly ahead of Obama when it comes to supporting space science.
On visas for scientists, Obama makes it a 9/11 terrorism issue, which is annoying spin. Visas were reduced as a protectionist scheme by the Clinton administration, supposedly to boost the competitiveness of Americans by reducing foreigners. Obviously this has resulted in more offshoring and Bush was ill-informed enough on the topic to continue that policy. Obama doesn't look like he will see the wisdom of immigration in a way that McCain does but campaign statements don't really tell us a lot about what actual actions will be taken.
I am betting that reality will cause both candidates to move a little more toward the middle than anything they say to get elected. In other words, I don't see anything that would make me alarmed about either candidate, despite the efforts by political operatives to mobilize constituents by saying either science or the culture will be ruined if the other guy gets elected.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Suggestion: The EM Drive Is Getting The Appropriate Level Of Attention From The Science Community
- Animal Sex Is Spicier Than We Thought
- Review Claims Link Between Wireless Devices And Cancer
- Will Aspartame Critics Now Be Less Bitter?
- Wind Energy Subsidies Boost It To 8 Percent Of Europe's Electricity
- Stardust For Sale
- Bang! Meet The Highest-Energy Hadron Collision Ever Imaged!
- "I don't see how that would make a difference. Musk is able to generate cosmic levels of hype but..."
- "With Tesla's home and office Powerwalls and the utility scale Powerpacks are fully built in Europe..."
- "2,000 contributors is not a crowd? ..."
- "Contrary to what you have written above, the SEC is not crowdsourced. See the Stanford Report:..."
- "Boob-ayCongratulations. You have made in into a select list of imbeciles: those who cannot read..."
- Excessive or inadequate? Confusion about medication is common
- Breast cancer in young women is rarer than media make it seem
- GE crops could save the environment, if Organic advocates let them
- No excuses to be against science now: Monsanto patent expires
- The Pendulum Swings: Prescribing Hormone Replacement Therapy 13 Years After the Women’s Health Initiative Study
- The search for new blood donors ends at the living – but why?
- How not to convince vaccine skeptics
- Even a little weekly physical activity goes a long way for seniors
- Low levels of endocrine disruptors in the environment may cause sex reversal in female frogs
- Get up for your heart health and move for your waistline
- As biodiversity declines on corn farms, pest problems grow
Books By Writers Here