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The State of the Science Union

President Bush thinks that science is the key to keeping the US ahead. It will help the country wean itself off fossil fuels, he said in his fifth linkurl:State of the Union;http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/01/20020129-11.html last night, and it will keep the nation?s businesses competitive in the global marketplace. He wants to start with children, whom he?d like to see ?take more math and science and to make sure those courses are rigorous enough to compete with other nations.? Pre

By | February 1, 2006

President Bush thinks that science is the key to keeping the US ahead. It will help the country wean itself off fossil fuels, he said in his fifth linkurl:State of the Union;http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/01/20020129-11.html last night, and it will keep the nation?s businesses competitive in the global marketplace. He wants to start with children, whom he?d like to see ?take more math and science and to make sure those courses are rigorous enough to compete with other nations.? Presumably, that leaves little room for intelligent design in science class, which he linkurl:nearly endorsed;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/85/ several months ago? But before life scientists get too excited, it?s worth noting that according to his address, the physical sciences matter much more than the life sciences ? twice as much, in fact. Bush proposed doubling ?the federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences over the next 10 years.? Such funding, he said, ?will support the work of America?s most creative minds as they explore promising areas such as nanotechnology and supercomputing and alternative energy sources.? Life scientists take note: you?re not America?s most creative minds; physicists, chemists, and engineers are. There were some suggestions that help was on the way for biology as well, at least on the corporate side. The president didn?t mention the NIH budget, which looks as though it will actually drop by $35 million this year. He did propose making the R&D tax credit permanent, ?to encourage bolder private-sector initiative in technology,? and that could certainly benefit biotech as much as it benefits other scientific industries. And he wants to keep spending on biodefense high. How all of this will play out in Congress is of course yet to be seen. Stay tuned.
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