A natural conclusion …

(10 am – promoted by ek hornbeck)

The journal Nature has come out with a solid endorsement of Barack Obama for President:  America’s choice.

The opening:

The values of scientific enquiry, rather than any particular policy positions on science, suggest a preference for one US presidential candidate over the other.

According to Nature‘s editorial page editor M. Mitchell Waldrop, as to Nature‘s record of presidential campaign endorsements.

To the best of the anyone’s knowledge currently here at the magazine, this is the first time.

The conclusion:

This journal does not have a vote, and does not claim any particular standing from which to instruct those who do. But if it did, it would cast its vote for Barack Obama.

The editorial lays out a cogent and clear statement as to Barack Obama’s clear respect for the importance of and value of quality scientific advice and for the support of science merits support.  “A commitment to seeking good advice and taking seriously the findings of disinterested enquiry seems an attractive attribute for a chief executive.”

Nature is an important journal in the communication of science and scientific values.  Reading polling that points to very strong scientific community support for Barack Obama, this endorsement seems to be a natural conclusion.  

To be clear,  Nature’s editorial board sought to restrain the strength of the endorsement, complimenting both candidates:

Science and the research enterprise offer powerful tools for addressing key challenges that face America and the world, and it is heartening that both John McCain and Barack Obama have had thoughtful things to say about them.

Sadly, however, they contribute to the McBlurring of McCain by praising him for his stance re carbon emissions without acknowledging how, for example, he has walked away from this with his selection of global warming denier Sarah “Energy Expert” Palin.  However, the selection of Palin evidently weighed heavily in the decision to come out with an endorsement:

Some will find strengths in McCain that they value more highly than the commitment to reasoned assessment that appeals in Obama. But all the signs are that the former seeks a narrower range of advice. Equally worrying is that he fails to educate himself on crucial matters; the attitude he has taken to economic policy over many years is at issue here. Either as a result of poor advice, or of advice inadequately considered, he frequently makes decisions that seem capricious or erratic. The most notable of these is his ill-considered choice of Sarah Palin, the Republican governor of Alaska, as running mate. Palin lacks the experience, and any outward sign of the capacity, to face the rigours of the presidency.



    • RiaD on October 31, 2008 at 21:37
    • kj on November 2, 2008 at 16:08

    Physics Today

    comes out in magazine form, and if you scroll about 1/4 a way down the page to October 2:

    Special report: Science issues are prominent in this year’s presidential race

    Barack Obama responds to the quadrennial PHYSICS TODAY questionnaire on science policy matters; John McCain declines invitations to participate.

    was in the latest issue.  (i didn’t read it, husband did)

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