By Carolyn Y. Johnson, Globe Staff
Barack Obama's campaign today laid out a detailed science policy, including a commitment to double funding for major science agencies over the next decade. The campaign also announced that 61 Nobel laureates -- including many current and former Bay State scientists -- are endorsing Obama.
Calling the Bush Administration's science policy "disastrous," MIT professor and Nobel laureate Robert Horvitz joined a conference call to speak in support of Obama's science policy, which includes elevating the role of White House science adviser to a senior-level position and reversing the ban on using federal funds for human embryonic stem cell research on cell lines created after August 9, 2001.
"Instead of shutting scientific knowledge out of the White House, Senator Obama will engage top scientists," Horvitz said. "Instead of blocking groundbreaking efforts to use embryonic stem cell research to find cures for diseases like Parkinson's disease... Senator Obama will provide strong support to these efforts."
In a letter of endorsement, the Nobel laureates wrote that visionary science and technology policy would be essential to maintain US competitiveness. They ranged from Sheldon L. Glashow, the Harvard physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979, to Craig C. Mello, the University of Massachusetts Medical School at Worcester biologist who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2006.
"Our once dominant position in the scientific world has been shaken and our prosperity has been placed at risk," the letter states. "We have lost time critical for the development of new ways to provide energy, treat disease, reverse climate change, strengthen our security, and improve out economy."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.