Thursday, August 21, 2008

Science and Policy in US Politics

The Executive and Legislative Branches of our government are responsible for some important decisions concerning our lives, livelihood and our future. Science is everywhere, and there are dedicated scholars who spend their lives studying important phenonmena and events to increase out world body of knowledge. But how does this dense, nuanced information make it to the minds of the people who make the decisions and control the purse strings and regulatory strings? Another question, are our leaders making informed decisions are they shooting from the hip. Be informed about the state of scientific comprehension of our leaders

More news from AAAS - The President and Presidential Hopefuls and Science Policy Stands.

1. Report on Presidential Science Advice.
The Center for the Study of the Presidency has completed its report Presidential Leadership to Ensure Science and Technology in the Service of National Needs: A Report to the 2008 Candidates <> . The report contains a number of recommendations intended to be seriously considered by the presidential candidates' staffs before and during transition planning, in order to strengthen the S&T advice provided to the President and federal agencies.

2. The Candidates' Stances on Technology, Education.

a. Republican presidential candidate John McCain released a technology agenda <> last week that includes a permanent 10 percent tax credit on R&D wages, expansion of the H1-B visa program for foreign guest workers, and tax breaks for companies that give high-speed Internet access to low-income customers. McCain also said he will "strive to ensure that Administration appointees across the government have adequate experience and understanding of science, technology and innovation."

b. Democrat Barack Obama, who released his technology program <> in November 2007, has said he also wants to make the R&D tax credit permanent; reform the immigration process to increase the number of permanent visas issued to foreign skilled workers; and create a national "chief technology officer" to ensure that all federal agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century.

c. Last week, the McCain camp also released its agenda for higher education <> . The policy includes a call for the simplification of higher education tax benefits and federal financial aid programs, and the elimination of earmarks in federally funded research.

d. In his education policy, Obama also proposes <> to simplify the process of applying for federal financial aid and calls for a universal, refundable tax credit to ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is free for most Americans.

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