I am training to be a scientist, and it’s my belief that science education and research in America is vitally important to our economic prosperity, since science drives technology, which lies at the heart of so many things in all economic sectors. Among the issues in science, basic funding and recruitment of talent seem to be at an all time low and de-prioritized in the current administration.
One of the reasons for the appeal of Barack Obama for me is that he has intelligent views on science policy. The question of how the grand plans will be funded is always in the air, of course, but like all voters with push-button issues, it is admittedly nice to hear at least some rhetoric extolling the values of science from at least one candidate. While John McCain’s “Issues” section of his website includes several topics that are related to science, such as “Space Program” and “Technology,” among others, a quick search for “science” on his website reveals “No documents were found.” This is in stark contrast to the basic science funding policy that is laid out by Obama on this page. A PDF can be found at this link.
The plan isn’t very specific in certain places, with respect to how certain goals might be achieved, but the basic ideals are sound. And again, the question remains regarding funding of these plans, amid the dozens of other important, expensive issues that are sure to face the next administration. Of course, we might be able to get some money if we were fighting a smarter war ….