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Monday, December 22, 2008

Obama Says He'll Favor Facts Over Ideology

"The truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources—it’s about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient—especially when it’s inconvenient. Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth, and a greater understanding of the world around us. That will be my goal as president of the United States—and I could not have a better team to guide me in this work," President-elect Barack Obama said Saturday during his weekly radio address, in which he introduced key members of his science and technology team.
John Holdren, a Harvard University physicist and energy and climate specialist (as well as a former president of AAAS), will be Obama's top science adviser, and biomedical researchers Harold Varmus and Eric Lander will serve with Holdren as co-chairs of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. (Varmus is a former director of the National Institutes of Health, and Lander, who was a principal leader of the Human Genome Project, is founding director of the Broad Institute.) Jane Lubchenco, a marine biologist and zoologist at Oregon State University, will run the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“I am confident," Obama said, "that if we recommit ourselves to discovery; if we support science education to create the next generation of scientists and engineers right here in America; if we have the vision to believe and invest in things unseen, then we can lead the world into a new future of peace and prosperity.”