Muckraker: Grist on Politics The Obama campaign released a policy outline [PDF] today on science and innovation, pledging to double federal funding for research over 10 years.


An Obama-Biden administration, they say on their website, would change “the posture of our federal government from being one of the most anti-science administrations in American history to one that embraces science and technology.” The plan is intended to support innovation, increase the country’s competitiveness, and create new jobs in the science and technology sector. They also call for more investment in university-based research, improved science education in public schools, and the permanent extension of research and development tax credits.


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The plan also calls for “restoring integrity to U.S. science policy,” by revamping the role of the president’s science and technology adviser, appointing individuals with expertise in their fields to advisory positions, and “independent, non-ideological, expert science and technology advisory committees.”

“It is essential that federal policy benefit from the most complete, accurate, and honest scientific and technological information available,” says the plan. “When federal policy is informed by objective evidence rather than by ideology — whether the concern be national security, energy, global climate change, the environment, health, healthcare, or investment in education and research — the people of America will be the winners. “

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The announcement was paired with a letter [PDF] from 61 Nobel laureates in the fields of chemistry, physics, and medicine that praised Obama for being a “a visionary leader” in this realm.

“During the administration of George W. Bush, vital parts of our country’s scientific enterprise have been damaged by stagnant or declining federal support. The government’s scientific advisory process has been distorted by political considerations. As a result, our once dominant position in the scientific world has been shaken and our prosperity has been placed at risk. We have lost time critical for the development of new ways to provide energy, treat disease, reverse climate change, strengthen our security, and improve our  economy,” wrote the laureates. “Senator Obama understands that Presidential leadership and federal investments in science and technology are crucial elements in successful governance of the world’s leading country.”