Friday, February 13, 2009

Holt and LoBiondo on the value of science

Which party stands for progress? How will we make the discoveries that improve the economy, our health and safety, and national security? The dispute over the economic recovery plan has plainly revealed the differences between the political philosophy of the two parties.

Rush Holt led the fight to invest in science in the stimulus bill. Here's his speech on the floor of the House of Representatives

Holt today called science funding the "ideal investment" today:

"The key to American economic prosperity is an entrepreneurial spirit and an openness to innovation, constantly nourished by scientific research,? Holt said. ?Research funded by the federal government provided entrepreneurs with the discoveries they needed to found Google and create the iPod. These case studies show that a historic investment in science will have a lasting positive impact beyond the immediate job creation."

Meanwhile, the Republicans continue to embrace an anti-science and anti-progress philosophy. Last month, Frank LoBiondo devoted three fifths of his complaints to denouncing scientific research. Today, he continues to oppose science, lashing out at "$600 million on science research, including new types of measurement devices, and fellowship grants, and $400 million for NASA to conduct research on space exploration and landing a man on Mars." It's astonishing that LoBiondo is not aware that "building measurements devices" employs workers and is central to the scientific method. As for space exploration, I'd point that space exploration has led to numerous practical applications such as weather forecasting, except LoBiondo went out of his way to attack attempts to "improve weather forecasts" too.

Cross-Posted at Blue Jersey