Back, and a Political Rant

17Aug08

Well, back from vacation. Refreshed, relaxed and ready for the start of the next semester o’ Epidemiology Fun ™.

And what do I come back to? A reminder that, for all the talk of about the election, a slew of energy proposals and a dissecting of both candidates positions on a whole slew of topics, the science front has been conspicuously quiet.

Science Debate 2008 has been trying to organize a formal, science-focused debate between the candidates since way back in the primary season. All three big contenders at that point declined.

But what we do have time for is a hour long chat with Rev. Rick Warren at Saddleback Church. I have nothing against people of faith, and I understand that both candidates are trying to court the Christian voters – Obama because of the whole ‘Oh my god he’s a Muslim!’ myth, and McCain because he’s continually failed to succeed in convincing the religious right that he can walk the walk.

But America’s hold on science is slipping, and the past eight years of the Bush administration have done a number on America’s science institutions, biology and public health among others have seen funding evaporate, political motives contaminating scientific discussion and research and the loss of good researchers. Considering America’s science strength has allowed us to enjoy an unparalleled quality of life, innovate our way out of problems, and support the America-as-Superpower century, it would behoove the candidates to at least pay a little lip service to science, in between the latest pastor scandal and tire-pressure gauge joke.

The sad fact is, I don’t expect it to happen.

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