Paul Waldman in The American Prospect:
As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama warmed the hearts of progressives when he promised to change “the posture of our federal government from being one of the most anti-science administrations in American history to one that embraces science and technology.” And when he got into office, he took a number of steps that demonstrated his sincerity.
He abolished George W. Bush's restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research and announced that he was “directing the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop a strategy for restoring scientific integrity to government decision making.” His Department of Energy — run by Nobel-winning physicist Steven Chu — is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on exploring innovative new energy sources under its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), modeled on the Defense Department's DARPA. Obama also increased spending for the National Science Foundation. And he just announced a $250 million public-private partnership to improve math and science teaching.
All good stuff. But could eight years of an Obama administration undo the damage wrought by eight years of what American Prospect alum Chris Mooney termed “The Republican war on science” that characterized the Bush era?