These were further steps in clarifying President Obama's broader vision of how government engages with science.
As David Neiwert of Crooks and Liars says the War on Science is finally over and Science won.
As President Obama signed the executive order that lifted the limits on federal funding for stem-cell research he said:
This Order is an important step in advancing the cause of science in America. But let’s be clear: promoting science isn’t just about providing resources – it is also about protecting free and open inquiry. It is about letting scientists like those here today do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it’s inconvenient – especially when it’s inconvenient. It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda – and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.While hosting the White House ceremony to announce the change, the president also explained a new memorandum he has signed addressing scientific integrity itself. President Obama stipulated that his memorandum is meant to restore "scientific integrity to government decision-making." He noted that this is the beginning of a process of ensuring his administration bases its decision on sound science; appoints scientific advisers based on their credentials, not their politics; and is honest about the science behind its decisions.
By doing this, we will ensure America’s continued global leadership in scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs. That is essential not only for our economic prosperity, but for the progress of all humanity.
"Promoting science isn't just about providing resources, it is also about protecting free and open inquiry," Obama said. "It is about letting scientists like those here today do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it's inconvenient especially when it's inconvenient. It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology."Alex Koppelman notes that this memorandum carries with it an "unsubtle ... repudiation of the Bush administration and its attitude towards science."
These are just more examples of the change that President Obama promised. Back when he introduced a Nobel Prize-winning physicist as his choice for Energy Secretary, President Obama said:
"His appointment should send a signal to all that my administration will value science, we will make decisions based on the facts."Soon after, he introduced a really impressive science team, and soon after that, the president devoted one of his weekly multimedia addresses to the issue:
"The truth is that promoting science isn't just about providing resources -- it's about protecting free and open inquiry. It's about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. It's about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it's inconvenient -- especially when it's inconvenient. Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us."
These are the reasons why I say that the Dark Age of anti-intellectualism pushed by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and the Republican party is coming to an end.