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48 Nobel Prize Winners slam Bush

  1. Jun 30, 2004 #1
    I've seen in a previous post that there are some people here who praise America's number of Nobel prize winners. They draw bizarre conclusions from that simple statistic.

    So here's something else about those same American Nobel Prize Winners, and a few other conclusions.




    48 Nobel Prize winners slam Bush, back Kerry

    Tue Jun 22, 9:40 AM ET Add Top Stories - Chicago Tribune to My Yahoo!


    By Jill Zuckman Tribune national correspondent

    Forty-eight Nobel laureates denounced President Bush (news - web sites) on Monday for "compromising our future" when it comes to scientific research and the environment, and said Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) "will restore science to its appropriate place in government and bring it back into the White House."

    The star-studded scientific endorsement for Kerry came on a day when the presumptive Democratic nominee stood in Civic Center Park and told several hundred rain-soaked voters that the way to build the economy is to invest in science, technology and higher education.

    "We need a president who will once again embrace our tradition of looking toward the future and new discoveries with hope based on scientific facts, not fear," said Kerry, vowing not to let "ideology and fear stand in the way."

    Many scientists have complained that the Bush administration has filled science advisory panels with conservative ideologues rather than individuals with sterling scientific credentials.

    In an open letter to the American public, Nobel Prize winners including Caltech President David Baltimore and cancer researcher Harold Varmus said "the Bush administration has ignored unbiased scientific advice in the policy-making that is so important to our collective welfare."

    Burton Richter, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1976 and helped organize the letter of support for Kerry, said laureates don't usually take such a public stand on non-scientific matters. "It's unusual, and I hope you take this as a sign of how seriously all of us think the errors of our present course are," said Richter.

    Among the others signing the letter were physicists James Cronin of the University of Chicago and Leon Lederman, former director of Fermilab.

    Kerry's focus on science, and his push for stem cell research, comes shortly after the death of former President Ronald Reagan (news - web sites), who had Alzheimer's disease (news - web sites). Stem cell research is seen by some as a way of spurring discoveries that could cure Alzheimer's and other diseases.

    And Kerry praised Nancy Reagan, noting that "her pleas for stem cell research joined the pleas of millions across this country and reinforces in all of us the need to tear down every wall today that keeps us from finding the cures of tomorrow."

    As it has for weeks, the Bush campaign accused Kerry of waging the politics of pessimism.

    "Only John Kerry would declare the country to be in scientific decline on a day when the country's first privately funded space trip is successfully completed," said Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt. "America is the world leader in patents, research and development and Nobel Prizes, and the president's budget raises federal research and development funding to $132 billion for 2005, a 44 percent increase since taking office."

    Kerry officials, however, accused Bush of taking an anti-science stance. They said he has proposed cutting most research and development in non-defense programs, and reducing funding for the National Science Foundation (news - web sites) and the Environmental Protection Agency (news - web sites)'s research budget.


    http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=sto...cagotrib/48nobelprizewinnersslambushbackkerry
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 5, 2004 #2
    RE: "Forty-eight Nobel laureates denounced President Bush (news - web sites) on Monday for "compromising our future" when it comes to scientific research and the environment, and said Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) "will restore science to its appropriate place in government and bring it back into the White House."

    Scientistists, because they suck at the public trough, tend to be liberal. No surprise there. Everyone has their ox that needs feeding. Scientists want big bucks spent on research. Educators want big bucks spent on education. Health officials want big bucks spent on health. All tend to vote Democrat. All will tell you that disaster is imminent unless they are given more money.

    They exaggerate. But the threat of terrorism is very real. If terrorists explode a dirty bomb in a city, they can kill millions and make it uninhabitable for years. We know they want to. We know they will if they can. We need to do all we can to stop that event from occurring. So which candidate wins on that issue? Hard to say for sure, but at this time I think I will vote for Bush.

    RE: "Only John Kerry would declare the country to be in scientific decline on a day when the country's first privately funded space trip is successfully completed," said Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt. "America is the world leader in patents, research and development and Nobel Prizes, and the president's budget raises federal research and development funding to $132 billion for 2005, a 44 percent increase since taking office."

    Finally we get some real figures, and they tend to support Bush. So what exactly is the problem, other than the fact that Bush is a Republican?
     
  4. Jul 5, 2004 #3

    loseyourname

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    I'd kind of like to see a breakdown of that increase in research and development spending. The cynic in me is afraid that every cent went toward weapons development.
     
  5. Jul 6, 2004 #4
    NSF funding has held about steady after Bush took office. Very little of that money goes towards defense spending.

    And defense spending fosters great scientific research. We can learn as much from defense research as any other.

    The President only proposes budgets; Congress actually passes them. I seriously doubt any significant changes have occurred in basic science spending since Bush took over. I would expect to see some drop off once inflation is included in the figure, but that makes sense considering the economy faltered early on in his Presidency.
     
  6. Jul 12, 2004 #5

    Moonbear

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    It's true, that Congress is ultimately who makes the decisions regarding budgets for scientific research spending. NSF has held steady, which, given the rates of inflation, has actually meant less funding. NIH has had a moderate increase each year. The president's budget this year called for an increase that would have pretty much just kept up with inflation (about a 4% increase over last year), but Congress was intending to cut that to only about 2% increase, which is the equivalent of a budget cut since it doesn't keep up with inflation. However, the greater problem has been the allocation of those funds...quite a bit gets earmarked for special projects favored by Congress, and isn't sent into the pool for competitive research grants, or can only be used for research in predefined areas. So, if your research can be used to develop or disarm biological weapons, there's a lot of funding out there right now. The problem with Bush isn't that he has been cutting research spending much more than other presidents, but that the limitations he's putting on how that spending is used isn't based on priority areas determined by the scientific community, or even public demand, as much as by his own faith-based ideology.
     
  7. Jul 12, 2004 #6
    RE: "The president's budget this year called for an increase that would have pretty much just kept up with inflation (about a 4% increase over last year), but Congress was intending to cut that to only about 2% increase, which is the equivalent of a budget cut since it doesn't keep up with inflation."

    And as I said, in tough economic times we can usually expect slight decreases in funding.

    RE: "The problem with Bush isn't that he has been cutting research spending much more than other presidents, but that the limitations he's putting on how that spending is used isn't based on priority areas determined by the scientific community, or even public demand, as much as by his own faith-based ideology."

    I think you are nit-picking a few programs that Bush wants to de-fund because of his moral convictions. I don't see this as a large problem -- certainly nothing to predict doom and gloom if Bush gets reelected.
     
  8. Jul 26, 2004 #7
    That is one way to look at it. Another is that scientists tend to be educated and intelligent. Bush is neither. One with Bush's complete lack of intelligence cannot be expected to support scientists, nor they him.

    This is certainly an issue that Bush can get into, in his own non-intellectual way. Scare tactics are extremely effective.

    You talk of terrorists making the earth uninhabitable for years. How about Bush and company. Their oil, together with their corporate mentality for handling oil, is contributing to making the earth uninhabitable in the future.
     
  9. Jul 27, 2004 #8
    Easy, get you ass out of other ppl's back yards.
    The sole reason for the us beeing in danger of terrorists is becouse Bush can't keep his acohol addict nose out of other ppl's buisiness.
    He's realy keen on judging countries, while he has no buisiness in them what so ever (e.g. Iraq, S. Arabia, Afganistan, just to name a few).

    High tree catch wind, the us catches bombs.
    Don't involve your self, and hey presto problems going away (with time)
     
  10. Jul 27, 2004 #9

    Njorl

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    Do you have any idea of just how funny you are? To complain about exaggeration and then to talk about a dirty bomb killing millions and making a city uninhabitable for years is just priceless. This has been modeled you should know. The impact has been deemed to be small compared to our fears. The death toll would be hard to distinguish from an ordinary explosion. The biggest damage would be entirely due to public misconceptions of the dangers of radioactivity. If anything, your statements indicate a greater need for public spending on science education.

    Njorl
     
  11. Jul 27, 2004 #10
    Yeah, my post about dirty bombs was an unintentional classic. :)

    But I have yet to see any evidence that science funding is in dire straits. Considering the state of the economy, I think science funding is probably about where it should be. I would hardly call the levels akin to "gutting." So what are the scientists so concerned about? Or are they just politically motivated?
     
  12. Jul 27, 2004 #11

    Njorl

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    I think it is more a matter of principle. If a president's personal morality can halt one scientific endeavor, it can halt any scientific endeavor. If it can halt any scientific endeavor, it can halt them all. I don't think it is that big a deal. There seems to be a religion-based anti-science movement in this country. I'm not convinced it's really growing. I suspect it is shrinking, but, gaining in exposure.

    Njorl
     
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