Monday, April 16, 2012

Pro-science Republicans [updated]

Physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson in 2009: "funding for science under Republican administrations has been historically higher than under Democrats."

I'd not previously come across this clip, and it does give some food for thought. What he said, of course, would not continue to be true if, say, Ron Paul or Rand Paul became president, although that's something that isn't going to happen (I'm pretty sure). Anyway to me his point underscores an important failing of the "Republicans are anti-science" meme, which is that it's a snapshot, and a partial snapshot at that.

UPDATE 4/18: Via Instapundit, I see that Tyson recently wrote a post on Wired on "We Can Survive Killer Asteroids -- But It Won't Be Easy." His conclusion:
If humans one day become extinct from a catastrophic collision, we would be the laughing stock of aliens in the galaxy, for having a large brain and a space program, yet we met the same fate as that pea-brained, space program-less dinosaurs that came before us.
Note how the comments section quickly sinks into partisan acrimony, despite the lack of a clearcut partisan angle to the asteroid issue. Sign of the times (especially in an election year).

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