State of the Union and Science

Connections between politics and science were clear during the State of the Union address on January 31, when President George W. Bush outlined his priorities for the nation. "We see great changes in science and commerce that will influence all our lives," Bush said, expecting the United States to "lead in oppportunity and innovation for decades to come."

Here are some of the scientific objectives the President discussed:

  • Increased science and math education—to make the United States a leader in nanotechnology, supercomputing, and the development of alternative energy sources.
  • An end to the spread of the HIV-virus, and assistance internationally to people with HIV/AIDS or Malaria.
  • Ethical regulations in science and medicine (specifically in the area of human cloning).

A State of the Union message reflects a President's vision at the time rather than concrete goals. In last year's speech, for example, Bush speculated about sending astronauts to Mars—but he did not discuss space exploration in this year's address.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Joe's picture
Joe says:

CNN.com has an interesting article about how despite the fact that the President has singled out scientific research and increases in science and math education as objectives of his administration, increasing numbers of researchers are speaking out and saying that their findings in areas where the science is at odds with religious or corporate interests are being discounted or silenced by the administration.

posted on Tue, 02/07/2006 - 2:18pm
Joe's picture
Joe says:

Related to the article referenced in the previous comment, CNN is now reporting that George C. Deutsch, an appointee of the Bush administration working in NASA's PR agency, has resigned after he tried to limit press access to Jim Hansen, a NASA scientist. In addition Mr. Deutsch had the word "theory" inserted before any mention of the big bang on NASA web pages.

This is really interesting stuff, I think.

posted on Thu, 02/09/2006 - 10:15am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Some promising strategies for reducing America's reliance on oil involve using microbes to turn plant material into ethanol. Many microbes digest plant material and turn it into sugars, which can then be distilled into ethanol. I especially like the fact that they are planning to use plant waste in this process, rather than corn which could go to feed people and animals.

In an earlier thread, there was some discussion over whether the process of producing ethanol used more oil than it saved. This report indicates that no, ethanol is a more efficient fuel than previously thought.

posted on Wed, 02/15/2006 - 2:30pm

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