Science In A Post-Bush World

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

After eight years of brawls with the Bush administration on issues including climate change, stem cell research and health care, scientists across the country aren't just hungry for change they can believe in, but science they can trust.

While many a scientist has picked apart a science-based policy of President Bush, the underlying issue that has sparked outrage from across the scientific community is the politicization of the discipline.

"The idea of putting ideology into decisions about science -- that has really denigrated the role of science," said Martin Chalfie, a Columbia University geneticist who was awarded a Nobel Prize in chemistry in early October.

Along with 75 other Nobel Laureates, he endorsed now-President-elect Barack Obama in an open letter that also blasted the Bush administration.
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=6193389&page=1
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
mgb_phys
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And the left (not the democrats are left) haven't let ideology effect science?
 
  • #3
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I think the purpose of politics is to hinder the development of science. After all, the majority of politicians are bible thumping nazi's.
 
  • #4
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i think the purpose of politics is to get free stuff. if embryonic stem cell research is really the golden goose people say it is, then people will fund it from their own pockets or go offshore to do it. climate change is also a scam.
 
  • #5
WarPhalange
i think the purpose of politics is to get free stuff. if embryonic stem cell research is really the golden goose people say it is, then people will fund it from their own pockets or go offshore to do it.
Not if it's deemed illegal and forcing someone to leave the country, essentially exiling them, so that they can develop cures for diseases is a bit harsh, don't you think? All because someone doesn't understand what an embryo is.

Of course, if it were me and I somehow developed the cure for cancer in a foreign country because I couldn't do it at home in the US, then I would say "America never gets the cure for cancer" and then you'd see lots of people leave the country.
 
  • #6
turbo
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Governmental influence in science is driven by money. Look at NASA. We can plan and execute modest unmanned missions (and more complex and expensive ones, of course) that DO NOT require us to put fragile human beings outside the Earth's protective magnetic field, where they can be fried by a Solar tantrum. Why did Bush say that we ought to be trying to put men on Mars? Well, you might look to Norton-Thiokol, Lockheed-Martin, and other big companies to see who would benefit.

Apart from the cool big-picture/vision sound of the plan, it's a proposal to shake down the US taxpayer and starve real experimental/observational science. We've got to get out of a pattern that places huge values on putting human bodies in space to the detriment of valuable science. If (incredibly) some breakthrough in propulsion efficiency combined with effective shielding makes flinging humans around through interplanetary space practical, then fine. Until then, let's concentrate on real Earth-bound science.
 
  • #7
mgb_phys
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It has a more far reaching effect than that.
If you are a drug company building a research lab where do you put it?
In the US you can't do stem cell research, you can't get visas for overseas staff and visitors are going to be subject to the joys of homeland security.
In software security research people have been arresed for presenting at conferences material which was legal in their own country - should I be nervous if I worked on stem cells and was going to a US conference?

Or you are a assistant professor looking for a post, if all the industrial research is in singapore or Europe where are the hot departments going to be. Especially for a country where universities rely on industry for new buildings - I would be worried.
 
  • #8
Not if it's deemed illegal and forcing someone to leave the country, essentially exiling them, so that they can develop cures for diseases is a bit harsh, don't you think? All because someone doesn't understand what an embryo is.

Of course, if it were me and I somehow developed the cure for cancer in a foreign country because I couldn't do it at home in the US, then I would say "America never gets the cure for cancer" and then you'd see lots of people leave the country.
Not that I think it's a great state of affairs, but you do know that embryonic stem cell research goes on in the U.S., right? It's just that it can't / couldn't under Bush receive government funding.
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  • #9
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Not if it's deemed illegal and forcing someone to leave the country, essentially exiling them, so that they can develop cures for diseases is a bit harsh, don't you think? All because someone doesn't understand what an embryo is.

Of course, if it were me and I somehow developed the cure for cancer in a foreign country because I couldn't do it at home in the US, then I would say "America never gets the cure for cancer" and then you'd see lots of people leave the country.
is it even illegal? my memory is that it is against the law to use federal funds. so go spend your money on it. but has embryonic stem cell research made any progress anywhere? i don't think so. it would be a huge money sink. it's nothing but a con.
 
  • #10
WarPhalange
Not that I think it's a great state of affairs, but you do know that embryonic stem cell research goes on in the U.S., right? It's just that it can't / couldn't under Bush receive government funding.
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Yes, but not if the Fundies really had their way. Bush is driven by money, not ideology, so he couldn't care less. You have particle physics experiments being funded by the DOE all the time, which won't maybe even ever have any actual application, but that doesn't stop them. Curing diseases is a bit more important than that, and yet it can't get funding? I wonder what would happen if it turned out that you needed large amounts of oil to do stem cell research. Care to take a guess?

but has embryonic stem cell research made any progress anywhere? i don't think so. it would be a huge money sink. it's nothing but a con.
Right. Embryonic stem cell research is a con, global warming is a scam. Mind telling me what else is false? Is it the whole "Higgs Boson" thing? Or should I just go right ahead and say F = ma is a hoax?

Do you have any idea how hard it would be to have a "scam" on that kind of scale? On a global scale?
 
  • #11
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Right. Embryonic stem cell research is a con, global warming is a scam. Mind telling me what else is false? Is it the whole "Higgs Boson" thing? Or should I just go right ahead and say F = ma is a hoax?

Do you have any idea how hard it would be to have a "scam" on that kind of scale? On a global scale?
it's pretty easy, apparently.
 
  • #12
Yes, but not if the Fundies really had their way. Bush is driven by money, not ideology, so he couldn't care less.
My point was more that, in a thread about people rewriting scientific truth, you're hyperbolically talking about scientists being essentially exiled and forced to leave the country.

It makes it look like you're just as avid about distorting the truth as many of them are.
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  • #13

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