President Obama has, to much liberal fanfare, undone the Bush era decision not to prohibit federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. He then, with a straight face, attacked Bush for putting politics ahead of science.
It’s laughable that someone could seriously claim that politics has no place in science when he just finished using a political act to influence science. Yes, Bush made a political decision regarding science when he decided not to fund embryonic stem cell research (and he also made a moral decision – an issue which Obama and the left wants to pretend doesn’t exist). But Obama is just as political when he decides to fund it as Bush was when he decided not to.
Government is inherently political. If politicians are deciding what scientific endeavours deserve funds, those decisions will inevitably be political. Federal funding is what brings politics into science. The only way to truly remove politics from science would be to remove government from science. Every indication is that Obama wants to do the opposite. He has all kinds of pet projects that he – based on his ideology – thinks are worthy, from embryonic stem cells to “green energy” and global warming research. He wants to take more money from the private sector, thus diminishing the capital it has to allocate to research, and decide himself where it should go. That won’t remove the influence of politics from science, it will enhance it.
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