We will restore science to its rightful place

I’m “reporting” from Ukraine today. I’m not as well-connected to the ‘net and to the doings of Science, so I don’t have much in the way of news for you.

I said before at some point that I wanted to avoid politics in this project. But I think I will skirt that line again today.

The New York Times wrote up a little thing headlined “Scientists Welcome Obama’s Words.” I think the article quite decently summarized the attitude of the scientific world, at least as I’m familiar with it.

Party loyalty and the scientific world’s liberal lean aside, I think it’s fair to say that the Bush administration was pretty hard on the scientific community. Back a few years ago, when the U.S. had money, they did some good things for the science budget. But when push came to shove, those were not fleshed out, and programs that got a good start had to struggle for the last few years.

It’s a funny thing: when the NIH budget doubles, more then twice as many people show up to ask for money. And even more strange: if they get it, they are hoping for more next year, too!

Obama said in his in his Inaugural Address: “We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.”

Well, that might be rhetoric, but it’s refreshing, anyway.