Human Exceptionalism

When California Scientists Whine

I grow very weary of the constant whining by “the scientists,” that if they don’t get everything they want, it is doom time:  “If there are ethical constraints on stem cell research, there will be a brain drain!” “If we don’t get funding increases we will fall behind other countries!” “If our ideological beliefs aren’t applied in public policy, it is anti-science!”  Whine. Whine. Whine.

Now, in California, UC scientists are whining about painful but necessary budget cuts. From the story:

More than 300 of the nation’s most noted scientists from all 10 University of California campuses have warned Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that proposed cuts in the UC budget would endanger the future of science and technology in California and threaten the state’s economy. “Further cuts in the magnitude being contemplated in the latest round of budget proposals would undermine prospects for economic recovery and damage California’s competitiveness for decades,” the scientists said in a letter that was also circulated to 25 of the Legislature’s most influential leaders.

Actually, I sympathize about the worry. No one is happy with the current debacle. But California is literally making like the Titanic in an Atlantic Ocean of red ink.  The state is in danger of implosion with basic services to children, the elderly, and the poor threatened, infrastructure in collapse, and emergency responders facing severe cuts.  In this environment, the caterwaul to, in essence, put science first, rings in my ears like more of the blatant sense of entitlement that has become so commonplace from that sector.

Hey, I have an idea: Have the wasteful California Institute for Regenerative Medicine stop borrowing to pay for the most expensive buildings money can buy and put that hundreds of millions into shoring up the UC science departments.  Don’t hold your breath!