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61 Nobel Laureates Back Obama

Sixty-one Nobel Prize winners came together and issued an open letter to the public announcing their official support for presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama. Basically, they have been disappointed (although that’s putting it lightly) by the current administration’s treatment of science – the vast reductions in funding, deliberate misrepresentation of facts in order to further their agenda, etc etc etc. Below is the original text of the letter, and here’s the link at which the pdf can be found.

An Open Letter to the American People
September 25, 2008
This year’s presidential election is among the most significant in our nation’s history. The country urgently needs a visionary leader who can ensure the future of our traditional strengths in science and technology and who can harness those strengths to address many of our greatest problems: energy, disease, climate change, security, and economic competitiveness.

We are convinced that Senator Barack Obama is such a leader, and we urge you to join us in supporting him.

During the administration of George W. Bush, vital parts of our country’s scientific enterprise have been damaged by stagnant or declining federal support. The government’s scientific advisory process has been distorted by political considerations. As a result, our once dominant position in the scientific world has been shaken and our prosperity has been placed at risk. We have lost time critical for the development of new ways to provide energy, treat disease, reverse climate change, strengthen our security, and improve our economy.

We have watched Senator Obama’s approach to these issues with admiration. We especially applaud his emphasis during the campaign on the power of science and technology to enhance our nation’s competitiveness. In particular, we support the measures he plans to take – through new initiatives in education and training, expanded research funding, an unbiased process for obtaining scientific advice, and an appropriate balance of basic and applied research – to meet the nation’s and the world’s most urgent needs.

Senator Obama understands that Presidential leadership and federal investments in science and technology are crucial elements in successful governance of the world’s leading country. We hope you will join us as we work together to ensure his election in November.
Signed,
Alexei Abrikosov Physics 2003 Roger Guillemin Medicine 1977
Peter Agre Chemistry 2003 John L. Hall Physics 2005
Sidney Altman Chemistry 1989 Leland H. Hartwell Medicine 2001
Philip W. Anderson Physics 1977 Dudley Herschbach Chemistry 1986
Richard Axel Medicine 2004 Roald Hoffmann Chemistry 1981
David Baltimore Medicine 1975 H. Robert Horvitz Medicine 2002
Baruj Benacerraf Medicine 1980 Louis Ignarro Medicine 1998
Paul Berg Chemistry 1980 Eric R. Kandel Medicine 2000
J. Michael Bishop Medicine 1989 Walter Kohn Chemistry 1998
N. Bloembergen Physics 1981 Roger Kornberg Chemistry 2006
Michael S. Brown Medicine 1985 Leon M. Lederman Physics 1988
Linda B. Buck Medicine 2004 Craig C. Mello Medicine 2006
Mario R. Capecchi Medicine 2007 Marshall Nirenberg Medicine 1968
Stanley Cohen Medicine 1986 Douglas D. Osheroff Physics 1996
Leon Cooper Physics 1972 Stanley B. Prusiner Medicine 1997
James W. Cronin Physics 1980 Norman F. Ramsey Physics 1989
Robert F. Curl Chemistry 1996 Robert Richardson Physics 1996
Johann Diesenhofer Chemistry 1988 Burton Richter Physics 1976
John B. Fenn Chemistry 2002 Sherwood Rowland Chemistry 1995
Edmond H. Fischer Medicine 1992 Oliver Smithies Medicine 2007
Val Fitch Physics 1980 Richard R Schrock Chemistry 2005
Jerome I. Friedman Physics 1990 Joseph H. Taylor Jr. Physics 1993
Riccardo Giacconi Physics 2002 E. Donnall Thomas Medicine 1990
Walter Gilbert Chemistry 1980 Charles H. Townes Physics 1964
Alfred G. Gilman Medicine 1994 Daniel C.Tsui Physics 1998
Donald A. Glaser Physics 1960 Harold Varmus Medicine 1989
Sheldon L. Glashow Physics 1979 James D. Watson Medicine 1962
Joseph Goldstein Medicine 1985 Eric Wieschaus Medicine 1995
Paul Greengard Medicine 2000 Frank Wilczek Physics 2004
David Gross Physics 2004 Robert W. Wilson Physics 1978
Robert H. Grubbs Chemistry 2005
The views expressed in this letter represent those of the signers acting as individual citizens. They do not necessarily represent the views of the institutions with which they are affiliated. The Medicine award is for “Physiology or Medicine.”

I don’t know about you, but I tend to listen to those who are outrageously smarter than me. These cats know what they’re talking about. As demonstrated by the content of my site, I’m a geek with an interest in science and technology and the furthering thereof. So far as I’m concerned, this just lends legitimacy to my own opinions on the issue. I’d love to see the government man up and increase funding for general science, while simultaneously reducing the funding that goes to DARPA. Don’t get me wrong, I know lots of good things have come from the research that DARPA does, but some of their projects blaze right past practical on their way to the surreal, the ridiculous, and the flat-out silly. Mechanical elephants, telepathic spies, and nuclear bombs as a means of propulsion? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? No? Okay.

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September 26, 2008 - Posted by | News, Politics | , , , , , , , ,

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