Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Class is in for Congress

Wow, I just read an article that Donald Kennedy was leading a science class for congress. From a NY Times article:

Mr. Boehlert (NY House Rep.) said, "everyone boasts that they are for science-based policy until the scientific consensus leads to an unwelcome conclusion, and then they want to go to Plan B."

So now, when scientific questions pervade legislation on issues like climate change and stem cell research, there is growing concern that Congressional misunderstanding can produce misguided policy.

To fight such misunderstanding, Mr. Boehlert and others sponsored the Jan. 23 briefing, organized by the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard.

This coupled with the President's commitment to basic research (in his State of the Union address) means that Washington is waking up (I hope).

What did Bush say is the state of the union? Here are some key points:
  • Train 70,000 high school teachers over five years to lead advanced-placement classes in math and science.
  • Encourage up to 30,000 math and science professionals over eight years to become adjunct high school teachers.
  • Provide $50 billion to double over 10 years the investment in federal agencies that support basic research in the physical sciences and engineering.
  • Support making the research and development tax credit permanent to give companies certainty in tax planning.

Now all we need is an attendance card for those house members and senators. Better yet a mandatory standardize test on science ... with the results published online!