Hail to the Geek

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Via Chris Mooney, a Seth Borenstein article about Obama’s love for science:

Out in public, Obama turns the Bunsen burner up a notch, playing a combination of high school science teacher and math team cheerleader.

Last week, for example, the president announced that the White House would hold an annual science fair as part of a $260 million private push to improve math and science education.

“We’re going to show young people how cool science can be,” Obama said. “Scientists and engineers ought to stand side by side with athletes and entertainers as role models.”

It’s nice to hear that the President is genuinely interested in science, and it’s really good to see some relatively concrete efforts to boost science coming from the White House. The whole article is worth a read, even with the Star Trek framing.

What’s up with that picture, though? It’s like the AP was working from a scientist stereotype checklist. Regrettable fashion choices, check; slightly unkempt-looking hair, check; deranged facial expression, check, oh my, check!

Comments

  1. #1 Eric Lund
    November 30, 2009

    It’s like the AP was working from a scientist stereotype checklist.

    They missed a couple of things: the white lab coat and the Coke-bottle eyeglasses. Other than that, yes, we could be looking at Dr. Strangelove.

  2. #2 joemac53
    November 30, 2009

    Criminy! Who stole my picture? (nice shirt, though). I always take issue with the coke-bottle glasses, since they are for those unfortunate farsighted people. We intelligent-looking nearsighted persons have lenses that cause our eyes to appear smaller.

  3. #3 Matthew Putman
    November 30, 2009

    This is certainly more than we could have hoped for during the Bush administration. There is nothing wrong with pushing cliche’s about science, if they are in fact true. Scientists do need to be valued more, and I think Obama has done that. I still can’t get over the appointment of Francis Collins though. I hate to be stuck on this religious issue, but putting a fundamentalist in charge is in my opinion showing that you are not as committed to science as you claim. Too politically correct.

  4. #4 ponderingfool
    November 30, 2009

    I hate to be stuck on this religious issue, but putting a fundamentalist in charge is in my opinion showing that you are not as committed to science as you claim. Too politically correct.
    *********************************
    Him being religious is not really a problem for me. My problems stem from A) using a governmental position to advocate on behalf of his particular religious beliefs and B) over-hyping science.

  5. #5 Vincent Waitzkin
    December 1, 2009

    Its good that the President is a technoholik. He usually skypes with his daughters while he is away from home. I am a college sophomore with a dual major in Physics and Mathematics @ University of California, Santa
    Barbara. By the way, i came across these excellent physics flashcards. Its also a great initiative by the FunnelBrain team. Amazing!!!

  6. #6 Matthew Putman
    December 1, 2009

    you are right Vincent. I think that we tend to forget what the alternative to this type of president is. He does hype things, and is prone to political oversimplification, but we should still consider ourselves lucky. Also, it does help when someone as cool as Obama is seen with Geeks. I just wrote a blog about scince and business, and perceptions like this. http://putmanonart.blogspot.com/2009/12/risk.html
    Check it out.