Science and the President

Monday, March 9, 2009
I'm a happy, happy science fan-girl this morning.

Today, President Obama will lift restrictions on funding for human embryonic stem cell research, ending a situation that researchers have had to deal with for far too long.

This makes me happy.

What makes me ecstatic is that he will also issue a presidential memorandum aimed at insulating scientific decisions across the federal government from political influence.

::cue Snoopy dance::

Based on the Washington Post article, I understand this memorandum to mean that scientific decisions will be made by, you know, scientists. Shocking!

This is not to say that ethical questions about research will not be addressed - but it does appear that they will addressed as ethical issues, rather than religious ones. The distinction is extremely important. People of different faith traditions (or none at all) can often find middle ground in ethical determinations based on the philosophical study of ethics. Once religious belief enters in to the process, however, often no agreement can be reached, as religious faith isn't exactly famous for its ability to compromise.

At a time when it feels like all the news is bad, and the majority of Americans are worried about losing their jobs, it's nice to get some good news for a change.

Go science!

11 comments:

Thordr said...

YAY!!! go science!

thank you Mister President!

KC-scientist

mattw said...

I don't know. We had a serious discussion at my brother's on Friday about the eventual robot uprising and the downfall of the human race there after. This could be the catalyst that sets these things in motion.

But then my brother's friend was convinced that behind closed doors Asimo actually has ninja skillz and the cutsey stuff is just an act.

Either way, yay science!

And lets hope that someone gets to work on the personal teleportation technology, because commuting sucks.

Eric said...

Don't be silly, Matt. Stem cell research will be the catalyst of the clone uprising. The robot uprising is a completely unrelated topic. And if we can time it right, we may even be able to pull a fast one by getting the clones and robots to fight each other while we True Humans ("Trumans") stand on the sidelines and watch.

As long as the clones and robots don't join forces, producing Terminators, we ought to do just fine. But I'm quite confident that President Obama will address the Terminator issue early and decisively. Why do you think one of his first announcements was that the family was buying a dog?

Dick said...

I thought that was a rare piece of good news as well. By the way, I'm not convinced that hot chicks, in general, dig smart men - but I'm open to persuasion.

Janiece Murphy said...

Welcome, Dick.

The title is actually something I just pulled out of my ass. Which means it resembles a lot of my content.

While I do believe that intelligence is pretty damn sexy, YMMV.

mattw said...

Eric, I think if, realistically, terminators are going to come from anywhere it will be from some kind of Tony Stark/Ironman situation where the suit gains its own kind of intelligence and takes over for Stark. Eventually, Stark Industries, which is making weapons anyway, will make a subtle, secret shift to terminators.

Janiece Murphy said...

Don't be dissing my fictional boyfriend Nathan Stark.

I love that movie...

Konstantin B. said...

I will be corrected of course, but refuse be silent. Teleportation is for Trekkies.

Real science dudes use quantum tunneling :)

neurondoc said...

Or wormholes.

neurondoc said...

I greet the concept of insulation of science and scientific decisions from political influence with a whole boatload of happy dances (you can guess why, I suspect). But I am taking a wait and see attitude -- we'll see how long it takes to trickle down to the people who actually make the decisions on a day-to-day basis.

Wendy said...

And then there are the nutz jobs in the Georgia State Legislature.

Whilest the President was signing the exec order, they introduced the Embryo Rights Bill to severly restrict and/or prevent embryos being created or used for stem cell research.

Haven't had the chance to find out all the details, but the headline in the Editorial section of today's paper was "Embryo Rights Go Too Far."

More stoopididdy as it develops. And you KNOW it will...

WendyB_09