Sunday, July 09, 2006

Isn't it ironic?

The most anti-science leader since the dark ages has urged the Senate back more government funding of basic science research. As someone who left the bench partially due to the substanstive decrease in funding (watching people do multiple post-docs lead to a horrific fear of living with mommy & daddy the rest of my life), I rejoice in the thought that those in the lab may actually be able to obtain grant funding to pursue and continue worthy research. I also have to say I find this call, coming from a man who has fought acknowledgement of reproducible scientific results, disabled/disbanded/dismantled or otherwise disregards legitimate scientific advisory boards to be disengenuous at best. Maybe I'm skeptical because Bush's call came from a microelectronics company lab (not that anyone in the Bush family has ties to tech companies or semiconducter work). . .nah, I think my cynicism comes from the fact the Shrub's proposal is publicized as an
initiative to boost U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace through innovation. He also wants to train thousands of new science and math teachers and extend a popular tax credit businesses can receive for investing in research and development. The total price tag over 10 years would be $136 billion. [CNN]
and the Preznit has spent much of his time in government office
helping to further the control that religious organizations have over what research can be conducted and what science should be taught in our schools which is part of what could turn this country into the next backwater nation.

The Senate will be taking up some real science/scientific funding issues this month in the form of stem cell research.

c/o RCRC (via Weekly Action Coalition)
Embryonic Stem Cell Research Holds Unprecedented Hope

Millions of people suffer from diseases and injuries that could be treated if we have adequate research to develop new therapies. Human embryonic stem cell research has enormous potential for finding life-saving treatments for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, brain injury, stroke, heart disease, burns, and spinal cord injuries.

Embryonic stem cells are derived from excess embryos, which were created for infertility treatments and will be discarded once treatment is discontinued. Stem cells have the ability to divide indefinitely in culture and can develop into most of the specialized cells and tissues of the body such as muscle cells, nerve cells, liver cells and blood cells. Using stem cells could reduce the dependency on organ donation and transplantation.

Somehow I doubt the Preznit will be supportive of this initiative or any educational programs that would lead to anyone else supporting it, let alone training programs that would lead to any future scientist making any headway.

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