Obama: Yes to stem cells, funding

As controversy and rumors swirl around John McCain's newly-tapped running mate like tropical depression-force winds and the Republican National Convention sputters to a start, linkurl:Barack Obama;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54362/ vowed to lift the ban on stem cell research and set targets to reduce carbon emissions, and promised to double basic research budgets over the next decade. His promises are spelled out in responses to a science policy survey issued by research and scien

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob started with The Scientist as a staff writer in 2007. Before joining the team, he worked as a reporter at Audubon and earned a master’s degree in science journalism...

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Sep 1, 2008
As controversy and rumors swirl around John McCain's newly-tapped running mate like tropical depression-force winds and the Republican National Convention sputters to a start, linkurl:Barack Obama;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54362/ vowed to lift the ban on stem cell research and set targets to reduce carbon emissions, and promised to double basic research budgets over the next decade. His promises are spelled out in responses to a science policy survey issued by research and science advocacy group linkurl:ScienceDebate2008.;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54084/ The Democratic presidential nominee provided linkurl:lengthy answers;http://www.sciencedebate2008.com/www/index.php?id=40 to 14 questions on topics from linkurl:climate change;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54049/ and national security to stem cell research and scientific integrity, voicing support for basic research and for confronting issues such as energy independence, combating global warming, and bolstering the economy through linkurl:science and technology innovation.;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/13010/ According to ScienceDebate2008, McCain has indicated that he will also answer the 14 questions. Here are some highlights from Obama's answers. On basic research linkurl:funding;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53303/ in light...
tion sputters to a start, linkurl:Barack Obama;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54362/ vowed to lift the ban on stem cell research and set targets to reduce carbon emissions, and promised to double basic research budgets over the next decade. His promises are spelled out in responses to a science policy survey issued by research and science advocacy group linkurl:ScienceDebate2008.;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54084/ The Democratic presidential nominee provided linkurl:lengthy answers;http://www.sciencedebate2008.com/www/index.php?id=40 to 14 questions on topics from linkurl:climate change;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54049/ and national security to stem cell research and scientific integrity, voicing support for basic research and for confronting issues such as energy independence, combating global warming, and bolstering the economy through linkurl:science and technology innovation.;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/13010/ According to ScienceDebate2008, McCain has indicated that he will also answer the 14 questions. Here are some highlights from Obama's answers. On basic research linkurl:funding;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53303/ in light of Congress's likely spending constraints: "As president, I will increase funding for basic research in physical and life sciences, mathematics, and engineering at a rate that would double basic research budgets over the next decade." On balancing the benefits and potential risks genetic advances: "I have been a long-time supporter of the recently passed linkurl:Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act.;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54567/ In addition, concerned about the premature introduction of genetic testing into the public domain without appropriate oversight, I introduced the linkurl:Genomics and Personalized Medicine Act of 2007;http://olpa.od.nih.gov/tracking/110/senate_bills/session1/s-976.asp aimed at ensuring the safety and accuracy of such testing." On climate change: "First, the U.S. must get off the sidelines and take long-overdue action here at home to reduce our own linkurl:greenhouse gas;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/24462/ emissions. We must also take a leadership role in designing technologies that allow us to enjoy a growing, prosperous economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050." "Specifically, I will implement a market-based cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions by the amount scientists say is necessary: 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. I will start reducing emissions immediately by establishing strong annual reduction targets with an intermediate goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020." On stem cell research: "I strongly support expanding research on stem cells. I believe that the restrictions that President Bush has placed on funding of linkurl:human embryonic stem cell;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54544/ research have handcuffed our scientists and hindered our ability to compete with other nations. As president, I will lift the current administration's linkurl:ban;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/12572/ on federal funding of research on embryonic stem cell lines created after August 9, 2001 through executive order, and I will ensure that all research on stem cells is conducted ethically and with rigorous oversight." On balancing scientific information with politics and personal beliefs in decision-making: "Scientific and technological information is of growing importance to a range of issues. I believe such information must be expert and uncolored by ideology. I will restore the basic principle that government decisions should be based on the best-available, scientifically-valid evidence and not on the ideological predispositions of agency officials or political appointees."

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