Here’s the video from his weekly address:
And the full text can be read here.
There are many gems in here; scientists are going to be beyond ecstatic about this speech, and this team that Obama has named. To me, the newsiest item is that Obama officially says that John Holdren will be “Assistant to the President for Science and Technology.” That means the science adviser is being restored to cabinet-level status, as Obama pledged would occur during the campaign.
Another important thing to look for: How soon is Holdren confirmed by the Senate in his role, and officially set to work? I’m guessing that with this crew, it’ll be pretty quickly, right after the inauguration. Bush, in contrast, took something like ten months.
And so change begins….
P.S.: If there’s anything I’m down about–and it’s a small criticism–it’s that the Obama science team wasn’t rolled out more prominently, or integrated into the environment or national security team, as I suggested here. It’s very important that science not be confined or ghettoized in the political arena. But when the president elect tells us that “science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation,” and that “It is time we once again put science at the top of our agenda and worked to restore America’s place as the world leader in science and technology,” I’m willing to gulp and not demand a press conference.