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..
8 responses to “A new President”
Seeing John McCain in the crowds did bring home the reality they could have chosen him and Palin instead… scarey!
As for the ‘rightful place’ of science, where is that exactly?
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 then installed political hacks and Big Business cronies in top positions in 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 result of which was the stalling of any action on global warming for 8 years, to the incredulity of other nations.
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 scientific advice available. 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’
Yes, I agree.
The re-branding of ‘global warming’ (bad) as climate change’ (neutral) was a master-stroke of marketing and spin (the spinner involved regrets his creation and now vocally agrees with the existance of human-induced global warming, but I can’t find his name in Wikipedia, and am just remebering a TV interview).
Also, Steven Chu – the name troubled me for a while as it seemed to be familiar but I couldn’t place it. Then someone mentioned his Nobel prize in laser cooling – bingo! – I almost did a PhD in that area and had read some of his stuff years ago. Good choice as science advisor (and perhaps bad choice for me to have changed topic…)
Well, here’s to the future, but Obama will have to work miracles to clean up the mess any time soon.
I quite like the expression ‘climate change’. It is the term used by climatologists – the real experts who study the behaviour of global climate over aoens.
It is these very people who tell us that the current variation is far outside the norm of natural causes, and is almost certainly due to human influence. There is a very good discusion on this going on the Physics and Physicists blog (see link of main page)
Thank you Doc for your post..I live hours from Chicago..
America stands in this moment..in this time..in the breech.
We can continue in leadership or fall by the roadside..
There is great hope again in America..We can lead again in science..political issues..human rights..education..jobs and the economy..Let’s pray God someday there can be a healing to this madness.
Anyhoo.. I’ve been linking you in some science discussions..science vs.religion blogs../Did you know the Earth is only 5800 years old?
It’s not my fault you have a public blog..When I need to call in the big guns of math you get linked..sorry about your luck..
kind regards doc
I don’t mind, but the linking in isn’t showing up on my dashbaord. 5800 years old eh? Not all humans have evolve at the same rate..
I am very happy with OBAMAS SPEECH and i pray GOD that he should furfil what he has promised especially that that concerns AFRICAN DICTATORS.I am from AFRICA precisely from CAMEROON and a HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT.
God bless you and may Him help the american countries under your modern vision and may your leadership win all others countries around the world, so as the DRC my contry.
The all mighty God bless thy.