Thursday, January 08, 2009

Apolitical Scientists

Lets see if this post goes better than the last one...

From Jonathan Adler at the Volokh Conspiracy
It's all well and good that Obama has opted to name several well-respected scientists to his administration (such as Chu at Energy and Lubchenko at NOAA, among others), but in placing Holdren at the top, in what is effectively a cabinet-level position, I think that the Obama Administration does not understand, or is not concerned about the, the problem of science politicization. However bad the Bush Administration was in this regard, I have no confidence that Holdren will help the Obama Administration any better...
Perhaps Obama understands it better than Volokh Conspiracy members. If you have politicians appointing scientists to key positions that control vast quantities of research dollars, you will politicize science. If you have scientists making policy and legislation recommendations that will have huge impacts on the US economy and US population, you will politicize science. Perhaps Obama realized that politicizing science is inevitable and it's far better to have someone who plays the game well.

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