Obama’s Science Report Card

Scientist, October 2012 » Features

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The Scientist canvassed people from both sides of the political aisle, asking them to evaluate the performance of President Obama and his administration in five key areas of science policy—health, environment, energy, science education, and space—through his first term in office. We also talked to people familiar with Mitt Romney’s treatment of science policy issues while Governor of Massachusetts (though, admittedly, the rigors of dealing with these issues on the state level differ from the challenges facing the federal government), and asked sources to prognosticate on a Romney/Ryan administration’s potential science policy stances. Here’s what we heard.

Environment             Grade B+
Health                      Grade A
Science Education     Grade A
Energy                     Grade B

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How would you predict the grades of President Aquino at the end of his term?

Note that Obama's men and women in charge of the above agencies -- and the over 20 in the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology -- are top scientists and Nobel laureates. Respected academic scientists are also found managing such agencies in other developed and fast developing countries, including our neighbors that left us behind.  

Whereas you would hardly find someone in Aquino's cabinet in-charge of Environment, Health, Science, Education, or Energy, who has made any major contributions to one's field -- as shown by published work in journals covered in Science Citation Index or Social Sciences Citation Index

Flor Lacanilao
Retired professor of marine science
University of the Philippines Diliman