Join
Search

President Obama Expected to Speak at NAS on Monday

Bookmark and Share

President Obama is expected to address the National Academy of Sciences on Monday to mark its 150th anniversary, according to an all-staff email that went to NAS employees yesterday.  The speech will stream live at 11:15 a.m. Eastern Time at  www.national-academies.org.

While the White House and the NAS aren’t saying anything publicly, the NAS canceled a large Monday morning celebratory event at the last minute due to “a major scheduling change.”

President Obama last addressed the NAS in April 2009. In that speech, he discussed the administration’s desire to address political interference in science:

“To undermine scientific integrity is to undermine democracy. It is contrary to our way of life. That’s why I’ve charged John Holdren and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy with leading a new effort to ensure that federal policies are based on the best and most unbiased scientific information.  I want to be sure that facts are driving scientific decisions — and not the other way around.”

The speech reinforced his March 2009 scientific integrity memorandum, which led to a December 2010 directive from Dr. Holdren, which led to scientific integrity policies from federal agencies and departments that UCS recently analyzed.

President Obama at NAS

President Obama speaks at the NAS in 2009. Photo: White House

The NAS was founded under President Lincoln. Many presidents have addressed the NAS. One of my favorite quotes came from President George H. W. Bush in 1990:

“Science, like any field of endeavor, relies on freedom of inquiry; and one of the hallmarks of that freedom is objectivity. Now more than ever, on issues ranging from climate change to AIDS research to genetic engineering to food additives, government relies on the impartial perspective of science for guidance.”

UCS is pushing the Obama administration to continue its progress on scientific integrity by strengthening and fully implementing the policies that have been developed. It will be interesting to see what issues President Obama addresses—and does not address—in his remarks on Monday.

Posted in: Science and Democracy, Scientific Integrity Tags: , , ,

About the author: Michael Halpern is an expert on political interference in science and solutions to reduce suppression, manipulation, and distortion of government science. See Michael's full bio.

Support from UCS members make work like this possible. Will you join us? Help UCS advance independent science for a healthy environment and a safer world.

Comments are closed. Comments are automatically closed after two weeks.

Comment Policy

UCS welcomes comments that foster civil conversation and debate. To help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion, please focus comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand, and refrain from personal attacks. Posts that are commercial, obscene, rude or disruptive will be removed.

Please note that comments are open for two weeks following each blog post. When commenting, you must use your real name. Valid email addresses are required. (UCS respects your privacy; we will not display, lend, or sell your email address for any reason.)