Science in the New White House

Science in the New White House

Disclaimer: This is not intended as a political statement.

A recent article (Science in the Obama Era) summarizing president-elect Barack Obama’s view on science said that Obama would “take scientific integrity seriously” and remove ideology from scientific issues.

Despite the article’s obvious targeting (especially the comments section) of the current administration as antiscience by contrast, let’s accentuate the positive. The article notes that Obama will take scientific integrity seriously “even if the verdict runs counter to his views.”

Probably what comes to mind for most people when they see those words is global warming and stem cell research. Assuming Obama is sincere, then all scientifically minded people have reasons to believe that scientific advance can lead to truth that ultimately benefits humanity.

Global warming has been politically supercharged in recent years and stem cell research hasn’t been much different. RTB scholars have commented on both issues (global warming, stem cell research).

It appears from this Average Joe’s perspective that the monumental challenge lies in holding true to a bias-free, yet ethically guided advancement of science. Whew! How do you remove ideology, and whose ethics will guide scientists?

At a time of history that we can all point to as a sea change in the right direction regarding bias of one kind, let’s hope that bias of another sort doesn’t hinder progress for all of humanity.

Your thoughts?