Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Obama: are you living in the real human world?

Although in personal feeling I am pro-Obama, I am quite disappointed on the most recently revealed list of science advisors Obama selected. I want to ask him a question: Mr. candidate, are you living in the real human world now?

Four out of the five advisors are life scientists and the rest one is astrophysicist. Hey! Is the situation of the present United States so optimistic that we should focus so heavily on intangible future?

Certainly I am not questioning the qualification of these selected advisors. They are great scientists and unquestionably every one of them deserves to have this honor. The question is, however, what does Obama think when he selected this group of primary advisors.

Just on this Monday, Lehman Brothers, a long-history global financial-services firm declared bankrupt. Then it was AIG and we still don't know the future yet. Let's watch a little bit farther, oil price remains high and energy saving has become a critical research issue. Then it is the globalization. How can US companies survive better in this more and more "flat" world? We are standing at the door of information industrial revolution.

Discarding all of these very crucial challenges that United States cannot avoid to face in the immediate future, Obama selected a group of life scientists plus one astrophysicist to advise the science policy. Am I blind or does he deaf?

What Obama does need immediately, if he would become the president, is a group of advisors consisting of nuclear energy scientists, renewable energy scientists, information and Web scientists, and then probably some life scientists. By such a group, his administration might be able to lead a pragmatic scientific research plan to guide US science and technology into the new era. With the present group, I have to ask the question again, Mr. candidate, are you now living in the real human world?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I guess McCain's "scientific" advisory board would consist of 4 old, male military nuts and 1 ultra conservative cleric. After all, "science" is bad and so elite, isn't it?

I'm not overwhelmed by Obama's choice either, but at least his experts have received some merits in their fields (Varmus, Omenn, Lamb and Long are darn lobbyists though - Where's the promised change here, Mr. Obama?).

And I beg to differ: I think, America is technocratic enough already. Instead of trying to reduce energy consumption in the first place, people are shouting for new nuclear plants and drilling. Instead of buying organic food, they're growing genetically modified plants.
Really nearsighted and very very lazy. Unfortunately.