Obama announces his powerful science leadership team.

Obama: ” It is time we once again put science at the top of our agenda and work to restore America’s place as the world leader in science and technology.”

Science bloggers are thrilled, the Science Debate team is giddy, a few folks are cautiously optimistic.
I’m very pleased. In general, Obama’s appointments signal a new era in science policy–transparency and inclusiveness being high on the list. Traditional reservations about Democrats over-investing in a too-broad-a-range of basic research are tempered simply because there’s not much money to go around these days. Most of Obama’s appointments were early supporters of the Science Debate (see below) and ardent advocates of engaging the public in science and science policy discussions.  

Here’s Obama, making the announcements:

Remarks from Shawn Otto, CEO of Science Debate 2008:

In addition to Steven ChuJohn Holdren, and Jane Lubchenco, we would like to congratulate Science Debate 2008 supporters Harold Varmus and Eric Lander on being named co-chars of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.  A 1989 Nobel laureate in medicine, Dr Varmus is former director of NIH and president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and has been one of our closest and strongest advocates throughout the last year – we are very pleased and proud of his appointment.  Also an early supporter of Science debate 2008, Dr Lander is the Director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; the first author of the Human Genome Project, and one of TIME’s 100 most influential people of our time (2004).
America was founded by scientist-statesmen like Jefferson and Franklin. It has always been an important part of our identity and success as a nation. We are hopeful that with these appointments, the American destiny with science can be reengaged to tackle our most pressing challenges as a nation, nearly all of which revolve around questions of science and technology. Now, the next step for the new administration will be successfully communicating this agenda to the American public, and reengaging the American media on these questions which are so critical to our ongoing success as a nation.

Thank you, as always, for supporting our shared effort to encourage this kind of leadership in the American political process. You are are critical part of…

-The team at ScienceDebate2008.com

  • My question to the Obama Science Team………..

    “If a minority of humanity over-consumes Earth’s limited resources and a majority of us overpopulate the planet, how can the human family protect biodiversity from extinction, Earth’s resources from dissipation and its environment from being degraded?”

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001
    http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/index.php

  • My question to the Obama Science Team………..

    “If a minority of humanity over-consumes Earth’s limited resources and a majority of us overpopulate the planet, how can the human family protect biodiversity from extinction, Earth’s resources from dissipation and its environment from being degraded?”

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001
    http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/index.php

  • Steven Earl Salmony

    The ideas generated here appear vital to me. While I agree with everyone who says no one can predict the future, I also believe we can likely agree that if the human community keep doing precisely what we are doing now, we will keep getting what we are getting now.

    One indication of faulty reasoning and extreme foolishness, I suppose, would be for us to believe that we can keep overconsuming, overproducing and overpopulating as we are doing now and somehow achieve different results from the ones in existence now.

    If, for example, by doing “more of the same business-as-usual activities” that we are doing now, we could be leading our children down a “primrose path” to a recognizably horrendous fate of some unknowable kind, would reason and common sense not suggest a change in behavior?

    We have self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe among us who are recommending to the children that all of us can live large and long; that we can conspicuously consume limited resources, pollute the frangible environment, overpopulate the finite planet and ravage the Earth……just the way they are insisting all of us do now. These arrogant and avaricious leaders are living examples of patently unsustainable lives and, yes, they take pride in their gigantic ecological ‘footprints’ and lifestyles based upon excessive consumption and unbridled hoarding. If our children were to keep doing what my not-so-great generation of elders are adamantly advocating and doing now, what is likely to become of them?

    My growing sense of frustration results from a realization that remarkably clear, intellectually honest and morally courageous reports from so many responsible and duty-bound scientists show us that the Masters of the Universe are determined to deny what could somehow be real and not to speak publicly about what they believe to be true regarding the predicament in which the family of humanity finds itself in these early years of Century XXI. Even worse, their minions with leadership responsibilities and duties in environmental organizations have collusively been enjoined from speaking about whatsoever they believe to be true. As a consequence, a conspiracy of silence has been established among all these leaders and the absurdly enriched talking heads in the mass media who eschew intellectual honesty and moral courage in favor of reporting repetitively about whatsoever is politically convenient, economically expedient, socially agreeable and religiously tolerated.

    The silence of so many leaders is deafening, while the duplicitous, disinformational chatter of the talking heads is morally outrageous. What is much worse, sad to say, is that the determination of these leaders and the talking heads to live large and long in such stupendously unsustainable ways — come what may for the children — is not only grossly irresponsible, it is a profound dereliction of their duty to warn, I believe.

    Perhaps change is in the offing.

  • Steven Earl Salmony

    The ideas generated here appear vital to me. While I agree with everyone who says no one can predict the future, I also believe we can likely agree that if the human community keep doing precisely what we are doing now, we will keep getting what we are getting now.

    One indication of faulty reasoning and extreme foolishness, I suppose, would be for us to believe that we can keep overconsuming, overproducing and overpopulating as we are doing now and somehow achieve different results from the ones in existence now.

    If, for example, by doing “more of the same business-as-usual activities” that we are doing now, we could be leading our children down a “primrose path” to a recognizably horrendous fate of some unknowable kind, would reason and common sense not suggest a change in behavior?

    We have self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe among us who are recommending to the children that all of us can live large and long; that we can conspicuously consume limited resources, pollute the frangible environment, overpopulate the finite planet and ravage the Earth……just the way they are insisting all of us do now. These arrogant and avaricious leaders are living examples of patently unsustainable lives and, yes, they take pride in their gigantic ecological ‘footprints’ and lifestyles based upon excessive consumption and unbridled hoarding. If our children were to keep doing what my not-so-great generation of elders are adamantly advocating and doing now, what is likely to become of them?

    My growing sense of frustration results from a realization that remarkably clear, intellectually honest and morally courageous reports from so many responsible and duty-bound scientists show us that the Masters of the Universe are determined to deny what could somehow be real and not to speak publicly about what they believe to be true regarding the predicament in which the family of humanity finds itself in these early years of Century XXI. Even worse, their minions with leadership responsibilities and duties in environmental organizations have collusively been enjoined from speaking about whatsoever they believe to be true. As a consequence, a conspiracy of silence has been established among all these leaders and the absurdly enriched talking heads in the mass media who eschew intellectual honesty and moral courage in favor of reporting repetitively about whatsoever is politically convenient, economically expedient, socially agreeable and religiously tolerated.

    The silence of so many leaders is deafening, while the duplicitous, disinformational chatter of the talking heads is morally outrageous. What is much worse, sad to say, is that the determination of these leaders and the talking heads to live large and long in such stupendously unsustainable ways — come what may for the children — is not only grossly irresponsible, it is a profound dereliction of their duty to warn, I believe.

    Perhaps change is in the offing.