In this week’s address, President-elect Barack Obama announced his science and technology team. Yes, you heard it right, after eight years of the dumbing down of America, science and technology now gets presidential attention. His chief advisor on science and technology will be John Holdren, a Harvard physicist. Holdren will co-chair the PCAST (President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology) with Harold Varmus, a cancer researcher and former director of the National Institutes of Health and MIT human genome researcher Eric Lander. Rounding out the science leadership team is Jane Lubchenco as Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
What is striking in this announcement is Obama’s acknowledgement of the far reaching influence of science in our society. His team will be tasked with advising on military matters (including biological warfare, no doubt), fighting disease, creating jobs through technology and preserving the planet. In fact, Obama indirectly tips his hat to former Vice President Al Gore, with his reference to the importance of listening to scientists even when they tell us inconvenient truths. Science must be respected outside of any ideological agenda.
Once again, Obama expresses a vision that gives hope that America will come out of its malaise to once again be a world leader.
And now, the President-elect: