The Corner

Political Science

The Obama campaign has announced that 65 Nobel Prize winning scientists have endorsed Barack Obama for President. In their letter of endorsement, the Nobel laureates list among their reasons for supporting Obama “stagnant or declining federal support” for science under the Bush administration (in fact funding for the NIH is up 41%, for the NSF is up 45%, and for overall federal scientific R&D is up 56% in the Bush years), and Barack Obama’s “emphasis during the campaign on the power of science and technology to enhance our nation’s competitiveness.” They say nothing about John McCain, or how his views might differ, and indeed as the candidate’s responses to a recent questionnaire on science issues demonstrate, there really isn’t much difference between them. More than reflecting one way or another on Obama or McCain, this letter is another bit in the great pile of evidence for the left-leaning political proclivities of senior scientists around the world. I offer some reflections on why that might be (among other things), in my new book on science and democracy, coming very soon to a book store near you.

Yuval Levin — Yuval Levin is the editor of National Affairs and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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