Seed Recommends a US Presidential Selection

October 29, 2008

Barack Obama.
The Seed editorial endorsement from Adam Bly can be found here.
An unsurprising selection, but welcome nevertheless.

Bly touches on some issues of paramount importance to this blogger, as previously noted.

Sen. Obama’s pledged stance on science resonates with us. He has vowed to restore integrity to the role of science advisor by reestablishing the senior status of the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and more broadly, by surrounding himself with individuals with exemplary scientific credentials; his selection of Dr. Harold Varmus as the campaign’s science advisor was a very promising and laudable step in that direction. Sen. Obama understands that basic research is fundamental to how scientific advances are made. He sees the importance of expanding funding for “high-risk, high-return” work, strengthening tax policy to spur R&D, and encouraging the careers of young scientists who pursue innovative lines of thinking.

I had a similar reaction to the Obama responses to the ScienceDebate questions.
I am more agnostic on another reason advanced by Bly:

Far more important is this: Science is a way of governing, not just something to be governed. Science offers a methodology and philosophy rooted in evidence, kept in check by persistent inquiry, and bounded by the constraints of a self-critical and rigorous method.

Or perhaps I should describe myself as hopeful but not yet convinced. Certain aspects of the culture of science do seem to me to be useful in the political realm although whether they can ever be adopted is unclear to me. I do feel that the more scientists can popularize their way of thinking and generalize some of the strengths across the population, the closer we can come to adopting evidence based politics. Agreed that electing a US President who is sympathetic, rather than overtly antagonistic, toward science is a major plus.

No Responses Yet to “Seed Recommends a US Presidential Selection”

  1. cashmoney Says:

    Big Deal. So did Nature


  2. becca Says:

    Yeah. Way boring. Colbert is much bigger news.
    [ Ed: Link ]


  3. DuWayne Says:

    I actually linked to Bly through your front page and read his piece before I read yours. I was thinking pretty much the same thing you were about the science is a way of governing bit.
    OTOH, I really liked the science is a lens bit. Mainly because I tend to look at science as exactly that, thanks to Carl Sagan. Not being a scientist or having much more interest in one aspect of science over another (excepting I absolutely adore nanotech), I tend to view science as the sum of all it’s parts. To be sure, I differentiate and understand that a partical physicist isn’t likely to have a greater knowledge of organic chemistry than my own.
    But lens is the perfect descriptive. When I see something interesting, or my son has a question about something, my first thought is to look it up and find out something of the science behind it. Because that is how I want to understand my world and that is how I would like my children to.
    Overall, a very inspiring endorsement piece. Almost makes me wish I had voted for Obama myself, instead of abstaining.


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