December 20th, 2008
05:30 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama names science and technology team

Obama named his science team Saturday.

Obama named his science team Saturday.

(CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama named his science and technology team Saturday with a pledge to ensure that “facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology.”

“It’s time we once again put science at the top of our agenda and worked to restore America’s place as the world leader in science and technology,” he said in his Saturday radio address, in an apparent offhand swipe at President Bush.

“It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient – especially when it’s inconvenient,” Obama said, adding that government support had been essential for the greatest scientific breakthroughs of recent history, like the development of the Internet. “Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us."

Obama announced that Harvard University professor John Holdren will serve as assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Environmental scientist and marine ecologist Jane Lubchenco of Oregon State University was his pick for administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The president-elect also named Nobel Prize-winning Harold Varmus, a former Director of the National Institutes of Health, and Eric Lander of MIT and Harvard, a leader of the Human Genome Project, as co-chairs of the Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Filed under: Obama transition
soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. Joyce Becker

    Thank goodness we will have a president who is not afraid of science and what it can teach us and what we can use from it rather than relying on dogma, fear, myths to explain things.

    December 20, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. Mobius

    Holdren is a poor choice – but we're used to that kind of 'change' by now.

    December 20, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    “Facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology.”

    That would be a refreshing change after eight years of "my mind is made up–don't confuse me with the facts."

    December 20, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  4. Rob Stumpf

    If we really wanted "science" that wasn't twisted by ideology, we'd allow supposed man-made "global warming" to be rationally discussed. But that's not what the green lunatics want to do. And Obama, like Clinton, Gore, McCain, etc. doesn't know any better.

    December 20, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  5. christian dad

    Bravo! Mr. Obama,

    I couldn't agree more

    Well Said.

    December 20, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  6. Ray Fisher

    Finally, someone who deals with facts. America can't wait for January 20. We should have an abort clause added to every officials term so we can reboot them out of office to make way for new ideas!!!

    December 20, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  7. Frank from Peterborough

    Well this will set the Jesus freaks into a frenzy. Imagine them having to accept the earth is not flat and is more than 6,000 years old and dinasaurs existed millions of years ago.

    Lets hope this will help the U.S. progress towards the 21st Century.

    December 20, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  8. case

    This is change folks. A President who actually believes in science.

    December 20, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  9. Ralph

    I think if people realized just how blatantly the current administration rewrote scientific evidence to deny global warming and protect their self interest, most would be appalled.

    Every action he has taken so far proves that we have a very wise man taking over.... a very wise man.

    December 20, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  10. leonard kishore

    Can't be a leader in science with 'religion as historical fact' in the way. It probably won't be next year, but many people will wake up to this within a decade. The faster we get there, the better off we will all be.

    December 20, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  11. Gary

    Nice shot, Messiah! Back to the future – change I can believe in. Change back to the impeached Clinton Admin! Give a wink and a nod to yor buddy Blagojevich for me.

    December 20, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  12. Colin the Salesman

    Finally, a person who values results and accomplishments over ideology! After 8 years of people who question Darwin and promote ideologically correct science, we finally have brilliant individuals in place whose main accomplishments do NOT include cooking science to suit the path of least resistance(otherwise known as kissing the behinds of the industry lobbyists).

    In other words, the creationist wackos and other psuedo-scientists at on the way out. Good riddance to the Flat Earth Society people and those who think the Flintstones and the X-Files were documentaries.

    December 20, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  13. Kevin

    Straight up, Mr. President-elect! I may not agree with everything you do (see: self-aggrandizing blowhard and hypocrite Rick Warren), but I remain convinced that the "reality-based community" will soon take charge. It can't come soon enough. Bravo!

    December 20, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  14. Tim C

    Finally. It's bad enough the social conservatives think the earth is only 6000 years old, and dinosaurs and man roamed together, starting day 6. I'm glad to see that we now have a president that cares about things like "facts" and "the truth," and things that have been ignored for the last 8 years.

    December 20, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  15. Billion

    Yes Obama. thanks for being a champ! You are bringing change, change that is desperately needed.

    December 20, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  16. KJL

    Thank goodness.

    December 20, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  17. Oden Roberts

    As we enter into a time of change please make a note to your editor – the conflict in this piece does not exist. The swipe, jab, or dig is just not there about Bush.

    It is your opinion, not the news.

    December 20, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. Hannah Stevens

    Even in these darkest times of our history, I am hopeful that we will prevail when I hear the voice of reason, Barrack Obama. We are well into the 21st century and have been living in the 20th and even the 19th century with the backward thinking bush people. But bush kept saying that to curb emissions and take measures for global warming would hurt the economy and look where we are now. It was the bush administration that has devastated this country from every way possible. This New Year is a year of hope.

    December 20, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. George Sosson

    I am so impressed with Obama's choices. He has put together an outstanding team in all areas especially national security and energy policy. Let's not this Illinois senate thing get in his way of these important appointments.

    December 20, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. richard ilomaki

    Thank you Pres. Elect Obama for restoring sense to the American science world – a welcome change from the barbaric medeival policies of the last 8 years.

    December 20, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. Ravi in MO

    Hooray! Science can once again prevail, without the constant fear of violating "Biblical Law".

    December 20, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. David Greenville, tx

    I've never quite understood why some people of faith view science as a threat to that faith. As Jimmy Carter writes, science helps us to better understand creation and is not threat to one's faith. Yet for 500 years scientists have been persecuted and prosecuted for making such outrageous statements as the Earth orbits the Sun. I'm glad we finally have a thoughtful, intelligent leader who will take us into the future without mindless superstition.

    December 20, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  23. Chet J.

    Obama is the first President to actually take the lead on scientific and climatological issues. If he retains a conviction to the ears of his peers, namely the Harvard and MIT professors, he may set a new precident for following Presidents. We can only hope that Obama has the courage to implement legislation that will help us follow the leads of those countries that legitamized the Kyoto Protocol and maybe set our own precident. I beleive that he has the courage to do just that.

    December 20, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  24. Artim


    December 20, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  25. julie

    Thank you Barack, for restoring sanity.

    December 20, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
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