political science part 3: john edwards

December 16, 2007 at 1:38 pm | | news, political science, science and the public, science community

Here’s a good introduction to John Edwards’ attitudes toward science and toward the current administration (from the Edwards website): “George W. Bush has presided over the most anti-science administration in American history, censoring research and slanting policy—on climate change, on air pollution, on stem cell research—to advance a narrow political agenda.”

And: “The key to our future success lies in our nation’s labs and testing rooms, but federal funding for physical science research as a share of GDP has been on a 30 year decline. The NIH used to fund four out of 10 grant applications; now it funds less than two out of 10.”

OK, so what would John do for us? His campaign website promises to build a new energy economy while cutting greenhouse-gas emissions, better our primary- and secondary- education system when it comes to science and math, expand access to college, strengthen the internet, provide universal healthcare, and remove political requirements for scientific appointments. Here’s an important paragraph:

Supporting American Ingenuity: The most important factor for America’s future prosperity is investment in education, science, technology and innovation. As president, Edwards will make the Research and Experimentation tax credit permanent. The credit has expired or nearly expired 11 times in the last 25 years, discouraging companies from making long-term commitments to research. Ideological debates at NIH about things like stem cell technology have drained resources from promising research. Edwards will increase spending on basic research at the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health and lift stifling research restrictions. He will also modernize our patent laws—which haven’t been updated in 50 years—to provide incentives for research.

This is nowhere near the detail that the Clinton campaign has included on their website. Nevertheless, it seems that President Edwards would turn around the most dramatically stupid Bush policies and attitudes toward science and research. It’s really, really satisfying to read so many pro-science views coming from the current batch of (Democrat*) candidates for President!

* We will eventually write a post summarizing the Republican candidates’ attitudes and planned policies toward science. But it’s really hard to find positive statements coming from any of them so far.

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  1. I just came across this site from Popular Mechanics. It has compiled the various candidates positions on a variety of topics, including space and science.

    Comment by kendall — December 20, 2007 #

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