Nobel Laureates Back Obama

Nearly 70 Nobel Prize-winning scientists lend their support to the President’s re-election.

By | October 19, 2012

Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka are among the Nobel Prize-winning scientists to lend their support to Barack Obama. Courtesy of HHMI and Stanford UniversityAccording to the polls, the two candidates are almost neck and neck. But among American Nobel laureates, Barack Obama appears to have won convincingly. Sixty-eight Nobel Prize winners in the sciences—including Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka, who won this year’s chemistry prize—have signed an open letter offering their support to Obama (D) over his Republican rival in the 2012 presidential election, Governor Mitt Romney. 

“President Obama understands the key role science has played in building a prosperous America,” the laureates wrote in the letter, released this week (16 October). “[He] has championed investment in science and technology research that is the engine of our economy.”

By contrast, they wrote, the budget supported by Romney, “if implemented, would devastate a long tradition of support for public research and investment in science at a time when this country’s future depends, as never before, on innovation.” They also wrote that Romney has "taken positions that privilege ideology over clear scientific evidence on climate change."

One of the organizers of the letter was Martin Chalfie, a Nobel Prize-winning biologist at Columbia University in New York City, who signed a similar letter endorsing Obama in 2008. “That was actually the very first thing that I did as a Nobel laureate,” Chalfie told The New York Times. “Scientists should stand up and talk about what they feel is important for the country in terms of the long-term support [for] research.”

Brian Kobilka of Stanford University, California, also spoke to the NYT to explain why he signed the letter. “I feel the Obama administration has been doing a good job of supporting basic research given the constraints of the economy.”

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Avatar of: skeptic 1

skeptic 1

Posts: 1

October 21, 2012

The Romney buget is not specific about science investment, therefore it is wrong to say that Romney's buget would not support the sciences. The Romney buget is still "evolving".

Obama received a Nobel Prize "on the come"...I wonder who ELSE did.  The Nobel Prize has been cheapened and deminished because of that in the eyes of many, as have its recipients, therefore, what do I care about their opinions on who should be president, especially when it comes to Mr Obama.

Seems like the Nobel Prize has been captured by politics. This is unfortunate.

Avatar of: Malka

Malka

Posts: 1

October 21, 2012

AYUP.  Their attitude is what is destroying this country.  They will vote for the candidate that funds their interests.  They could care less about what is good for the country.  They could care less about the debt they are leaving the country's children.  They only care about themselves.  Everybody has their thing they want to continue to see funding.  They all feel like THEIR cause is the only one that should be funded by the feds, cut everybody else's.  So selfish.  So breathtakingly selfish. What happened to:  "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country".

Avatar of: mac_1103

mac_1103

Posts: 1

October 22, 2012

Of course, the Romney budget isn't specfic about anything, except that taxes and discretionary spending will be cut while defense spending will be increased.  How exactly are we to expect this sort of broad blueprint to be implemented without reduced support for science?

And Romney supporters also vote for the candidate that funds their ineterests. They too could care less about the debt we are leaving the country's children, as long as they get another big tax cut.  Sure, "ask what you can do for your country" as long as it doesn't involve paying taxes to fund the government.  Breathtakingly selfish indeed.

October 22, 2012

In response to Malka's comment:  I believe Romney's supporters, too, will vote for the candidate that funds their interests, whether it is corporations, small businesses, etc., and every individual's interests will drive their vote.  There's nothing wrong with using one's personal experience to guide one's actions.  However, to say that "they care less abou tthe debt than what is good for the country" seems at odds with the more efficient cars, materials genome initiative, and other things that the president has achieved due to his policies.  To do this when a block of congress has made it their mission to make him "one-term president" and to make his life miserable it quite remarkale.   By reading the quotes in the daily newspaper and even hearing the debate, Romney supporters seem to have a strategy of bashing the president, while speaking very little about their own plans.  Spend less time throwing mud, and more time at the grindstone working out detailed policies with more promising results for the entire country, and then they have a shot at my vote. 

Avatar of: jimbo

jimbo

Posts: 1

October 22, 2012

Malka, everyone votes in their own self-interest to some degree, but even so you're being overly cynical.  As Nobelists they probably don't have to worry as much about grants as their less successful peers, even as federal funding diminishes, so it's hardly being selfish.  I agree we all have to make some sacrifices, but cutting NIH and NSF budgets to keep plutocrats' taxes absurdly low seems to me a bad idea. Oh, and you forgot to attribute your quote -- to that legendary budget-slashing libertarian JFK...

Avatar of: bud

bud

Posts: 3

October 22, 2012

As Nobel prize winners, they are not very bright.  After Romney wins the election, these two clowns will not be comfortable about their future, unless they move to Kenya with Obozo.

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