Maybe the biggest science story of 2008 is that science will be back in government in 2009. In a way it is a commentary on how far we have fallen that the appointment of distinguished scientists to important posts in government is a story at all. It should be a given. But for eight years — and more — it has been the exception, and scientists who have been in government have been marginalized. Even worse, whatever they have done in private, they have been compliant public faces — the word stooges comes to min — for the Bush administration’s contempt for any science not consistent with their ideology or the welfare of their corporate patrons.
Now Obama is announcing a Nobel Laureate physicist for Energy Secretary and a distinguished team of other scientists, including another Nobel Laureate and former NIH Director for an extremely important scientific external advisory board. Here’s the Transition Team announcement on YouTube (hat tip, reader Man of Misery):