As I write this the Obama-Biden ticket has been endorsed by 231 newspapers across the country, the McCain-Palin ticket by only 102 (see here for latest tally). The final Kerry-Bush score was 213 – 205. Most of us don’t really care that much about the newspaper endorsement bragging rights and I doubt it makes much difference to voters, either. No one expects the Wall Street Journal to endorse Obama (although the Financial Times did). After all, the WSJ knows that Republicans are much more reliably corporation friendly than Democrats. Along the same lines, I am extremely pleased to announce that the publisher of this blog and all the blogs under the scienceblogs.com umbrella as well as the classy newstand publication, Seed Magazine, yesterday endorsed Barack Obama.
Here’s what we take as the crux of the endorsement. The full text can be found here:
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.
Sen. Obama’s embrace of transparency and evidence-based decision-making, his intelligence and curiosity echo this new way of looking at the world. And that is what we should be weighing in the voting booth. For his positions and, even more, for his way of coming to them, we endorse Barack Obama for President of the United States. (Barack Obama for President)
If you read the entire statement you will see that this is only a fraction of it. What didn’t we include? We have left out any references to the United States, America’s “soft power,” the importance of science in the nation’s competitive advantage, the importance of funding research in this country, and a few other things. It is not that we disagree with those things, at least as points pertinent to the difference between the Obama-Biden ticket compared to the McCain-Palin one. It is that we think science transcends national borders. The Editors at Seed clearly recognize this, signaled by the phrase: “Far more important is this: . . . ” I agree, so I just quoted “the important stuff.”
There are five more days until the most important election in my lifetime. My first was 1964 (18 year olds couldn’t vote in 1960), but I think this one is even more important (and I hope will turn out better). Sixty-one Nobelists have endorsed Obama and I am guessing the majority of scientists will vote for his ticket.
And so will I.