IF THIS article we found is accurate, those with a concern for science have little to fear from either candidate, so you’re free to cast your votes for other reasons. This assumes, of course, that the candidates are being truthful and will remain constant to their current positions. Big assumptions.
We think this is from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, but it’s one of those sites that seems to accommodate several news sources: Obama and McCain tackle the high-tech world. Here are some excerpts — bold font is in the original article:
Democratic Sen. Barack Obama
Quote: “We’ve got to invest in science and technology. China had a space launch and a space walk. We’ve got to make sure that our children are keeping pace in math and in science.”
What he’s done in the past: Obama, a first-term senator, introduced legislation for White House coordination of science, technology, math and engineering education, and backed other high-tech education initiatives.
Flip-flop meter: Obama’s education investments were initially premised on delaying by five years NASA’s Constellation program for a return to the moon and maybe on to Mars. Obama dramatically reversed course this summer, and now backs the multibillion-dollar moon-Mars mission.
Well, so he’s flip-flopped a bit. Nobody’s perfect. Oh, a final excerpt about Obama:
Obama now suggests he would fund these ambitious goals through savings from ending the Iraq war. Yet space scientists worry Obama’s less than enthusiastic embrace of the manned space-flight program means he would cut the space budget to pay for some of his reforms — especially in the post financial-bailout world.
That one’s all cleared up. And now …
Republican Sen. John McCain
Quote: “I am intrigued by a man on Mars and I think that it would excite the imagination of the American people if we can say, ‘Hey, here’s what it looks like.'”
What he’s done in the past: McCain has been a reliable supporter of NASA and space science budgets for most of his 22 years in the Senate.
Flip-flop meter: Although McCain has previously championed federal funding for stem-cell research “to relieve human suffering,” some scientists detect a flop in McCain’s answers to the Science Debate 2008 group last month, when he said “clear lines should be drawn that reflect a refusal to sacrifice moral values.”
Golly, they’re both flip-floppers. We’re shocked!
Oh, there’s also this — and it concerns Sarah Palin too:
Some scientists give McCain points for realism for backing heftier space budgets and incentives for high-tech teaching while advocating more targeting of other science investments. Yet others say his plans sound too much like business as usual, when the need for aggressive new federal initiatives is urgent.
McCain loses support among many scientists for his vice presidential pick of Sarah Palin, the daughter of a science teacher, who once said while campaigning for governor that she supported teaching both evolution and creationism in Alaska’s schools. Palin quickly amended that to support for allowing creationism to be discussed in the schools, without adding it to the curriculum. As governor, she has not sought to change school policies.
That was accurate regarding Palin’s position, so we have a high confidence level in this entire article.