Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nobel Scientists for Obama

Science took a severe beating from George Bush and his administration. Funding for cutting-edge research dried up in physics, chemistry, biology and medicine. Where once the U.S. dominated, from high-energy physics to medical research, the scientific frontier has slowly moved to Europe. That’s where most of the exciting work in science is done these days. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s most powerful particle accelerator at the Swiss-France border, is only one example.

In an open letter to the American people, 76 American Nobel Prize-winning scientists (including the three chemisty and physics laureates this year) endorsed Barack Obama for president. (Martin Chalfie, the chemistry winner, has even recorded a video of his endorsement). They are the Who’s Who of American science. Their passionate support for Obama and disdain for Bush, and by extension of McCain and Palin, should be a wake-up call for Americans struggling to understand why we as a nation have fallen behind other countries in basic scientific research. Only the other day, the clueless Sarah Palin mocked fruit fly research as a waste of taxpayers’ money. Christopher Hitchens’ devastating deconstruction of Palin’s ignorance and the importance of fruit fly research that led to a Nobel Prize for Thomas Hunt Morgan in 1933 makes for fascinating reading.

P.S. 11/1/08 - Here is another response to Palin's "scientific" observations on the fruit fly by a scientist.

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