Valentine Marofsky says:
In support of my previously expressed view that Obama's choice of a bible thumping pastor to pray for us at the Inauguration is a political gambit, and his political core supports science over religion or any fundamentalist form thereof, see the NYTimes editorial pasted below:
December 22, 2008
A New Respect for Science
Though Barack Obama’s cabinet appointments have received the big headlines, it is worth noting two important sub-cabinet choices. Both are scientists, committed to using rather than abusing science to address issues like climate change, and a welcome departure from the many ideologues and lobbyists that Dick Cheney assembled to advise President Bush on environmental matters.
The first of these choices is Jane Lubchenco, a marine biologist at Oregon State University, to run the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a division of the Commerce Department responsible for the health of the atmosphere and the oceans.
Ms. Lubchenco is an expert on two grave threats to the oceans, both linked to global warming. One is acidification, which is destroying coral reefs, the other hypoxia, a condition that robs fish of the oxygen they need to survive. She has also been a powerful advocate for stronger federal and international efforts to protect declining fish species.
We are also heartened by Mr. Obama’s choice of John Holdren, a Harvard physicist, as his science adviser. Mr. Holdren has served as chairman of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as has Ms. Lubchenco. Both have argued strongly and repeatedly for a mandatory limit on greenhouse gases to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Like Mr. Obama’s earlier appointments — in particular Steven Chu, a Nobel laureate in physics, to run the Department of Energy — these choices solidly affirm Mr. Obama’s commitment to aggressively address the challenges of energy independence and global warming.
The broader point, though, is what they say about his appreciation for the processes of science. That was not much in evidence in the Bush administration, some of whose appointees edited and suppressed scientific documents to serve the administration’s political agenda.
As Ms. Lubchenco observes, identifying a problem is not synonymous with solving it. But Mr. Obama has at least surrounded himself with serious scholars of some of the most critical issues of our times.