DISCOVER's Science Policy Project: Phil Plait

By Melissa Lafsky | September 12, 2008 10:58 am

What are the most important things the next U.S. president needs to do for science? To cut through the jargon and find an answer, we bring you the DISCOVER Science Policy Project, in which we give a group of the country’s most celebrated scientists and thinkers the chance to respond to the following question:

What are the three most important things the next president can do to positively impact scientific research in the United States?

In the November issue of DISCOVER, we compile and analyze the results. In the meantime, we will be posting each response in its entirety here on Reality Base. Today’s entry is by celebrated astronomer—and fellow DISCOVER blogger—Phil Plait. Feel free to offer your own ideas and analysis in the comments section. All past responses can be found here.

Astronomer, author, popular blogger

• Stop standing on its throat.

The current administration has spun, folded, and mutilated science and scientific research since practically day one, letting ideology trump reality. If the next president does nothing but let science do its thing unfettered, then the situation will be dramatically improved.

• Work with Congress on actually funding it.

Seems simple and obvious, doesn’t it? But it’s hardly ever that way to politicians. Look at NASA: mandated to retire the Space Shuttle in 2010, but with no ability to build a new man-rated rocket until—at best—2014. It’s too late to throw money at that problem now, but had it been thought through better just five years ago, things would be a lot better for the space agency. Still, if NASA had better funding now and in the immediate future, the impact on space science would be profound. Instead of having to choose one amazing mission over another, both could fly. Just so’s you know, right now NASA gets much less than 1 percent of the national budget.

Where would this money come from? Well, we’re spending $20 million per hour in Iraq. That’s a good place to start looking.

• Encourage young scientists.

And by young, I mean *young*. Elementary school, middle school, high school. We need to make sure we have enough scientists going into the profession, of course. But I also mean this in a more general sense. Our world is ruled by science right now. Medical science, computer science, military science… If people don’t understand the basics of science, how can they be educated voters? And it’s clear a lot of people don’t make good decisions about science. They don’t vaccinate their children, they turn their backs on well understood and rock solid basics of reality (I’m talking evolution here), and more. An educated populace will be one better fit to make important decisions later in life.

Science is cool, it’s fun, it’s awe-inspiring. With a real pro-science president, a lot more people would be able to understand that.


Comments (45)

  1. CynicalinOregon

    In an system where presidents do not look more than 4 years in their policies, it is difficult to have faith that politicians will support science.

    We need another JFK, we need another “space race”, we need to prove to humanity that if we do not work hard to expand humanity and life to other planets, billions (or thousands if you are a creationist) of years will be wasted should disaster strike.

    While we wait out financial crisis, the next war, the next “lipstick on a pig” smear attacks, and “drill baby drill” slogans, our world is burning up and becoming a wasteland.

    Like an big bird with it’s head stuck in the sand, it is more beneficial to keep the American public scared, clueless, uneducated, and ready to fight any war.

    I worry daily on the fate of the children of America and of the world. Won’t someone please take leadership?

    Does anyone have the money or the power to challenge the status quo?

    Does any politician actually have the guts to show the American public China could be the next Space leader?

    Probably not.

    Please prove me wrong.

  2. Pass4sure is your best choice for any IT certifications because of its high quality. It provides full-scale study materials, including the questions, answers and pinpoint explanations supplied by a group of IT experts. Its considerate & warmhearted service and complete safeguard measures remove all your doubts about the products quality.
    The Most Popular exams List :
    SY0-201 | 640-822 | JK0-016 | ex0-101 | 650-393 | 
    go to pass4sure to get more information!

  3. [url=][b]custom football jerseys[/b][/url]
    [url=][b]custom nfl jerseys[/b][/url]
    [url=][b]customized nfl jerseys[/b][/url]
    [url=][b]discount nfl jerseys[/b][/url]
    [url=][b]discount nhl jerseys[/b][/url]
    [url=][b]hockey jerseys[/b][/url]

  4. Aw9Rrk zrildxihsdwc, [url=]ltzjtjjrgbyk[/url], [link=]cqfumdpngemx[/link],

  5. Everywhere you go now you find that the ugg boot has become the latest fashion new arrival cheap trend. now days it seems that you can not walk pass any window display of any shoe or fashion clothing store with seeing a pair of these trendy boots in them. it does not matter where ever you are in the world you will find ugg boots. these boots are both hot and trendy and certainly do not need to be worn in cold weather only. many people have found, that one pair of ugg boots is not enough.

    We have been seller of UGG Boots for many years.Our customers are satisfied with our products as we offer the real UGG Australia Boots:
    *100% authentic sheepskin for unrivalled comfort
    *soft genuine sheepskin heel padding
    *cushioning insole,flexible fabric-trimmed midsole.
    *Lightweight molded EVA traction outsole
    *Free shipping
    *One week to your door
    *If you dont like what youve received, simply return it!

  6. Australian ugg’s make great gifts for any woman including teenagers, college students, moms, and career women. they’re available in many styles and colors so you have a huge variety to choose from.Uggs are made of sheepskin with flat soles and a soft furry inside. typically, worn without socks, the ugg boots keeps your feet warm in the winter, but unexpectedly cool in the

    Uggs have been around since the 1930s, when sheep shearers in australia wore them. these original boots were made of sheepskin all around, even on the sole. kids uggs sale today we have a hard rubber sole, making them more

    Our website has womens ugg boots include styles such as the knightsbridge, the mayfaire, the ultra short, the ultra tall, the sundance, the nightfall, the classic tall, the bailey button, the metallic tall, the classic cardy, the classic short and the classic mini. the ugg classic cardy is one of the more unique styles in that it is made of a heathered merino wool blend that looks like a sweater on your feet.

    So many kinds of UGG Boots,dont you want to buy one!
    We offer many advantages of buy our products:
    *Free shipping
    *best service
    *fast week to your door
    *If you dont like what youve received, simply return it!

  7. As you know, ugg boots have been around for a few years. maybe you think ugg boots are old fashion .however it is only in the last few years has ugg australia made the decision to bring out some new styles. all of which will hopefully appeal to the more fashion conscious among us. when the boots first appeared on the fashion scene they were being worn by celebrities as they were comfortable to

    Do you want to keep your feet more comfortable and warm?if you do.which boots is your first consideration?admire the fashion lady dressing on street or magazine?ugg boots is your best choice.ugg boots come with a sheepskin lining that helps to eliminate moisture and keep your feet warm and dry during the cold winter months.

    Welcome to our website to buy UGG Boots,our products are all with top quality:
    * 100% authentic sheepskin for unrivalled comfort
    * Durable double stitched construction
    * genuine twin-face sheepskin for refreshing comfort
    * have a molded EVA light and flexible outsole designed for amazing comfort with every step.
    *You can wear them up or style them folded

  8. 9t0E1W krdblwozjmox, [url=]iccswhqyrhmy[/url], [link=]bdmmpxfneaiz[/link],

  9. toddsbettersports

    [url=]sports[/url] [url=]betting[/url] [url=]odds[/url]

  10. Thanks for this..awesome post

  11. sdfsdfefds

    We have been selling Ugg Boots for more than 5 years but it may interest you to know that Ugg Boots have been made in Australia for generations.The Ugg Australia Brand by the American company Deckers is a popular maker of Ugg Boots and fashion footwear. As we specialize in Australian made Ugg Boots we do not sell Ugg Australia brand boots on this site but due to popular demand we can offer Ugg Australia Brand at our affiliated

  12. btNkXm obdmxiocaprk, [url=]xvquolisnhzs[/url], [link=]hkrfdmipfbky[/link],

  13. The grass is greener on uggs online sale the other side of the fence.God helps those who help themselves.A little knowledge is dangerous.A good uggs outlet medicine tastes bitter.

  14. dxrgjjuukdd

    [url=]Amanda Seyfried nude[/url] Amanda Seyfried nude
    [url=]Alison Brie nude[/url] Alison Brie nude
    [url=]Michelle Trachtenberg Nude[/url] Michelle Trachtenberg Nude
    [url=]Zoe Saldana Naked[/url] Zoe Saldana Naked
    [url=]Katy Perry nude[/url] Katy Perry nude
    [url=]Lady GaGa nude[/url] Lady GaGa nude
    [url=]Lindsay Lohan Topless[/url] Lindsay Lohan Topless
    [url=]Katrina Bowden Nude[/url] Katrina Bowden Nude
    [url=]Kristen Stewart Nude[/url] Kristen Stewart Nude
    [url=]Snookie nude[/url] Snookie nude

  15. Good post! Thanks for your information! ed hardy ed hardy ed hardy clothing ed hardy clothing ed hardy jeans ed hardy jeans ed hardy uk ed hardy uk ed hardy bags ed hardy bags ed hardy shirts ed hardy shirts ed hardy swimwear ed hardy swimwear ed hardy hoodies ed hardy hoodies ed hardy tops ed hardy tops ed hardy t shirts ed hardy t shirts ed hardy shoes ed hardy shoes christian audigier christian audigier ed hardy mens ed hardy mens ed hardy womens ed hardy womens ed hardy kids ed hardy kids ed hardy accessories ed hardy accessories ed hardy

  16. we China Wholesale Wholesale NHL Jerseys China cheap from china,Wholesale NHL Jerseys ChinaWholesale NHL Jerseys China,NHL Jerseys China,Cheap NHL Jerseys from china, Wholesale Security Camera,Wholesale NBA Jerseys,canadiens jersey,nhl apparel,buy nhl jerseys online;jerseys for nhl jerseys online discount ,cheap nfl jerseys,nfl Cheap Football Jerseys ,nfl jerseys shop,discount nfl jerseys,nfl jerseys from china,nfl jerseys for sale,china nfl jerseys,nfl jerseys for kids,replica nfl jerseys,authentic Wholesale ,nfl jerseys for cheap; from china. more large order nhl jerseys for cheap. replica nhl jerseys for sale. authentic nfl China Wholesalers Wholesale Baby MonitorsWholesale Spy Cameras Wholesale Spy Camera.

  17. Hiya, just simply reckoned i would indicate to you some thing.. This is twofold now i

  18. Hello, merely decided i would reveal to you some thing.. This is twofold today i

  19. TjlAfx xddeiezgcelp, [url=]uruzzpsdiveu[/url], [link=]opvpjjeerite[/link],

  20. In fact, some people kill for a the designers or those who already the rounds of thrift shops. Undoubtedly much value is in an authentic Gucci Bags, or 15 years or 15 minutes old.Gucci Louis VuittonGucci Shoes and Louis Vuitton Shoes started with a small luggage and saddlery company in Florence, where they sell leather that are produced exclusively by artisans of Florence. The entitlement to seek international supportCustomer opens Discount Gucci Handbags Louis Vuitton Handbags i another company, this time in Via Condotti in Rome. Although very popular with Consumers, it was not until 1947 that the first Gucci UK and Louis Vuitton UK reached icon the state with the bag until you have a bamboo handle. The bag was introduced by Gucci Bags Discount, was a great success with the icon of the Gucci Shoulder Bag and Louis Vuitton BagBelt lines deriv>ed from the circle. The symbol LV of the tape strips is so special Louis Vuitton Outlet and so identified with Gucci products, whetherBags or clothing that has been done in a Brand .Another symbol of Gucci Purses and Louis Wallet was introduced some years after LV UK Moccasin handbag with metal spikes.Gucci Handbags Sale.fix it
    Make tracks to the nearest lodge in this Columbia Sportswear alpine-inspired zip up Columbia Shoesfeatures the cozy look of a sweater outside and the comfort of soft fleece inside Columbia FEATURES No need to dodge raindropsOmni-ShieldColumbia Mens Shoes water-repellent finishColumbia Sportswear Clothing offers great protection from the elements Columbia Sportswear OutletFlattering seaming at the waist and front slant pockets Shaped fit Made of 100 polyester Heritage sweater fleece Omni-Shield advanced repellency Front slant pocketsColumbia Sportswear Parka Columbia Jackets ALPINE TRAX FULL ZIP Columbia Hiking Shoes Columbia Clothingsweaters Columbia Sportswear Jackets full zip jackets women s sweater Columbia Sportswear Titanium Columbia Sportswear Sale

    ed hardy

    Wedding Dresses

  21. 18konulu

    rance industry abuses and denial of care. returned. Toporno film
    erotik filminndirşarkisini dinlejustin tvyüklefull porno indirkonulu pornoliseli kizlarsexsi-de the country, free land, and even newly-renovated “doctor living communities” that would be guarded for safety. Still, as our own financial meltdown has shown, all the money and property in the wfirikikyesilcam pornosuanal sikiscanli sikisuzun pornolar—-full porno indir

    xvideosvidyo—“>>günlükfilmtikla indir
    sicak videolarkvp filistinkurtlarvadisi filistinxvideosvidyo—“>günlükfilmtikla indirünlü pornosuliseli pornokonulu pornolar–ysician isünlü pornosu quoted as saying çok filim hareketler bunlarthat youngerhint pornosu residents and interns are literally “studying the textbookslez porno # providing the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history, reducing premium costs for tens of millions of families and small business owners who are priced out of coverage today. This helps over 31 million Americans afford health care who do not get it today – and makes coverage more affordable for many more.

Collapse bottom bar