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A View from Erika Jonietz

Bush and Science

Stem-cell research. Climate change. Renewable-energy research. Science education. Four big areas of conflict between the Bush administration and the scientific community. Yesterday Wired News posted a nice analysis of how conflicts between the Bushies and scientists are likely to shape…

  • November 17, 2004

Stem-cell research. Climate change. Renewable-energy research. Science education. Four big areas of conflict between the Bush administration and the scientific community. Yesterday Wired News posted a nice analysis of how conflicts between the Bushies and scientists are likely to shape up over the next four years.

In some cases, particularly stem-cell research and global climate change, states are actually stepping into the breach, as with California’s Proposition 71, which mandates the state spend $300 million a year for the next 10 years on all types of stem-cell research, and rules on automobile emissions in New England and California. On stem cells in particular, public opinion and pressure from Republican governors might sway Bush. Massachusetts, for instance, faces the departure of a number of businesses and researchers at top universities working on the cells.

With Bush now firmly ensconced in the White House for four more years, the only real given is that the political battle over science will continue. University of Wisconsin bioethicist R. Alta Charo told Wired News, “I would place a Las Vegas bookie bet on the administration providing more fodder for more complaints” among scientists. I’d take that bet, too.

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