As American scientists and engineers of color, we study nature, develop new technologies and are concerned about our country’s progress towards equality.
Since diversity underlies innovation, a diverse scientific workforce best addresses the challenges before us. Science’s advancement and equity in science are fundamental to our future.
Our nation is at the cross roads of health disparities, overseas wars, energy dependency, economic instability, and climate change. These problems require scientific as well as political solutions.
The election of John McCain or Barack Obama as President is a critical national decision. These problems call for scientist participation in defining issues and recommending the candidate best suited to solve them.
Investment in science and innovation has made this country competitive and prosperous. However, rather than cultivate American science, the current administration has waged a war on science.
The last eight years have witnessed reduced funding for basic research; the disbanding of the Congressional Office of Technology and Assessment; the downgrading of the President’s Scientific Advisor; censorship of government scientific information; attempts to legitimate “intelligent design”; severe limits on stem cell research; and denial of the role of human role in global climate change. Furthermore, initiatives to encourage students to pursue scientific careers have faltered. National science groups have also raised questions about sustainability, national security, pandemics, space exploration, and the relationship between beliefs and public policy. A course change for American science is needed to steer our country in the right direction.
As American scientists and engineers of color, we study nature, develop new technologies and are concerned about our country’s progress towards equality. Since diversity underlies innovation, a diverse scientific workforce best addresses the challenges before us. Science’s advancement and equity in science are fundamental to our future.
From this viewpoint, we examined the Presidential candidates for their positions regarding American science and have observed differences. While Senator McCain responded in detail to the 14 questions posed in the ScienceDebate 2008, we observed that John McCain has not delineated a comprehensive science plan.
In contrast, Barack Obama has developed a far-reaching agenda that supports the growth of US science, encourages the training of new scientists, and supports diversity in science. Obama introduced legislation such as The Genomic and Personalized Medicine Act. This bill supports basic science in genomics related to public health, proposes research on health issues that target minorities, protects their rights and privacy and provides subsidies for new diagnostics and treatments.
The issues of diversity in both basic and applied research are paramount: a US Census Bureau report has projected that the US will become a majority minority country in 2042. Supporting diversity in science is supporting American science.
This difference between the candidates is echoed in their running mates. Joe Biden pledged to double the budgets of NIH and NSF and to expand the reach of stem cell research. Meanwhile, Sarah Palin apparently promotes the teaching of creationism in schools, and does not believe that global climate change is man-made.
These differences in two Presidential candidate’s agendas for American Science leads us to endorse Barack Obama for President of the United States.
The Min Sci Obama petition to Minority scientists was written by Jose Morales and is in the category Science & Technology at GoPetition.