I just caught President Obama’s inauguration speech on our college tv. All of us were highly impressed, from the senior professors to the cleaning women (even my students were riveted). Very impressive and quite moving. I suspect Obama will make a great President and a big difference to the world. It reminded me of old footage of Kennedy, you got a glimpse of the US the rest of us used to be proud of. I suspect many nations around the world are heaving a sigh of relief..
A new President
There were several prominent references to corporate greed, to unsustainable energy consumption and to America’s reduced standing in international affairs. He sounded like he meant it. It will be interesting to see whether an intelligent man who is clearly well-motivated will be able to stand up to the vested interests of ideologues and big business…
So a new President for a new era. I notice that when Democrats get elected they talk a lot about America and American values, whereas Republican presidents talk about republican values…interesting
P.S. Forgot so say the most important bit – during the speechthe new President also said the magic words “restore science to its rightful place”. At long last…
Update: James wants to know where the rightful place of science might be (see comments).
The rightful place of science is where it can be heard by decision-makers, so that world leaders can make decisions based on the best objective scientific advice available. One of the first things the Bush administration did was to move the office of science advisor far from the inner circle of the White House (physically as well as metaphorically). He also installed political hacks and Big Business cronies to top positions in major scientific bodies such as NASA… a huge tactical error irrespective of your political viewpoint.
The result was a campaign of misinformation on science, with many consequences – the most serious of which was the effective stalling by the US of any meaningful international action on global warming for 8 years, to the incredulity of most other nations.
Already, Barack’s choice of scientific advisors has been spectacular – if you want to get a feeling for the views of US scientists on this, have a look at the blogs listed under ‘particle physics’ in the blogroll opposite..