Science politics

Pure Pedantry

Category archives for Science politics

In President Obama’s inaugural speech, he announced his intention to “restore science to its rightful place.” In response to Seed Magazine has initiated to The Rightful Place Project whose goal is to recruit scientists and engineers to answer the question: What is science’s rightful place? Available on their website is a form where you can…

Let’s Defund NCCAM

Orac and PZ are popularizing a post at Change.gov to defund the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM): Biomedical research funding is falling because of the nation’s budget problems, but biomedical research itself has never been more promising, with rapid progress being made on a host of diseases. Here’s a way to increase…

Many scientifically-inclined voters were a bit shocked by McCain’s comment criticizing Obama for supporting a “3 million dollar earmark for an overhead projector at a planetarium in Chicago.” The “overhead projector” in question was actually a top of the line piece of equipment for the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, and many did not consider this…

Both candidates have answered the questions about scientific issues posed by the ScienceDebate2008. You can read their answers side by side here. Several comments in no particular order: McCain mentions ending earmarks in reference to supporting scientific funding. How are those two even related? Obama is much more specific than McCain with respect to innovation…

Thomas Nagel on ID and Evolution

Philosopher Thomas Nagel, writing in the journal Philosophy and Public Affairs, criticizes the exclusion of Intelligent Design from science classes on the grounds that evolutionary science too rests on an assumption: the naturalistic assumption. He argues that both evolution based on natural selection and ID have untestable assumptions. Frankly, I think that Nagel is wrong…

Sen. Arlen Specter on NIH funding

Last night, I saw Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) speak. (I joined this speakers club called the Oxonian Society — which despite its name is not restricted to Oxford alumni. Why? What can I say. I was bored, and it is cheaper than internet dating. Hopefully, the people I meet will be more reliably intelligent and…

(How do I know that it is a bad idea to say anything about this. Oh well. Here goes.) ScienceBlogs regulars will know that last week there was a tiny incident involving a prescreening of the movie Expelled! — a documentary starring Ben Stein purporting to expose the exclusion of pro-Intelligent Design advocates from academia.…

Why Republicans Reject Science

Over at Crooked Timber, John Quiggin has launched a broadside at NYTimes Science Blogger John Tierney (also here) over what he (Quiggin) considers politicization of science: One of the big problems with talking about what Chris Mooney has called The Republican War on Science is that, on the Republican side, the case against science is…

Important Announcement #1: ScienceDebate2008 is actually going to happen. Here is the press release: ScienceDebate2008.com, the citizens initiative calling for a presidential debate on science and technology policy, today announced that it has formally invited the presidential candidates to a debate on April 18 at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, four days before the Pennsylvania…

I was distressed to read this at Wired because usually I feel like they are more on top of things. This is by Thomas Hayden: Even worse, those same cortexes that invented science can’t really embrace it. Science describes the world with numbers (ratio of circumference to diameter: pi) and abstractions (particles! waves! particles!). But…