Big Time Changes in Science Policy

Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War on Science, writes about The New Congress on Science, believing that science policy is going to change “big time.” He notes that “one reason the Reagan administration never messed with science as much as the current administration was because the Democratic Congress helped keep it in line.” Among the changes, hearings on global warming won’t be centered around those outside of the mainstream who do not believe in global warming. People like Henry Waxman will be chairing committees with subpoena power to find out what is really going on in federal agencies.

I especially wonder how this will impact the federal ban on embryonic stem cell research. The Republican Congress already passed a bill supporting stem cell research but could not over ride Bush’s veto. Between the change in the new Congress and surviving Republicans fearing they could be next, I wonder if next time funding for stem cell research will pass with a veto-proof margin. In looking ahead to the 2008 horse race, action by Congess on global warming may make Al Gore appear prescient.

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