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. patrick geraghty

    NO! NOT SCIENCE! AHHHHhhhhhhhhh....

    December 20, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. Prof T in IL

    As a former government scientist I find this refreshing news. Thanks Barack for leading us out of the dark ages 2.0

    December 20, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  3. Look ALIVE!

    (This is in reference to the current top story on CNN about prop 8.)
    OK, as I see it, Marriage = between a man and a women. Why not let gays get "narried"? Let the "straight" people "own" the "marriage rights". It's just a word on paper. The gays can have narried because that means "not a:no" which equates to "not a man AND women may enter into." Situation fixed. Case closed. Now everyone is equal.

    December 20, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  4. Scott NW

    How fitting on this Solstice eve to usher in the season of reason.

    December 20, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  5. Sue

    First of all, what on earth does he mean? I guess using the word "inconvienient" has something to do with science now(thank you Al).
    He just can't help himself, can he. Has to look good at the expense of others.
    I am looking forward to how he feels after "being" president for awhile instead of "playing" one on TV.

    December 20, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. Sheri Adkins

    I think Obama is going to get the record as the most arrogant president ever........he has had a news conference everyday; sometimes twice a day since becoming president-elect. I think he just likes seeing himself on TV. He acts like he is already president. He is so disrespectful to the current president. No matter how bad Bush has screwed things up; he deserves a graceful exit but Obama is going to make sure that does not happen because he knows the limelight is the only thing that will feed his protruding ego....

    December 20, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  7. CCT

    Back of 'bama til you've walked a mile in his shoes. At least back off til you are called "Mr. President" for real. You won the election. Name your people without comment and move on. (This won't be posted.)

    December 20, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  8. Roscoe

    Does that mean that Obama will admit that the idea of man-made global warming is scientifically untenable? That would be inconvenient for him politically, but scientifically responsible.

    December 20, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  9. gm

    –“It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient – especially when it’s inconvenient,” Obama said–

    Unless it has anything to do with "global warming", then you'll be compared to Hitler.

    December 20, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  10. Nick, Rochester, NY

    It is leftist groups like the so-called Union of Concerned Scientists that were truly politicizing science. I know this for a fact. I do have a Ph.D. in physical chemistry, from Columbia University and can opine on these matters more competently than all these peaceniks and eco-maniacs.

    December 20, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  11. energy

    CNN: Where is jab at Bush? Stop seeking news that is not there. If your reporters want news so bad, they can find good or bad ways to become news themselves.

    December 20, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  12. Betty the maid

    Bravo Obama....

    Thank god America chose a brilliant and urbane leader over the likes of that Wal Mart Hill Billy Sarah Palin, who thinks the earth is 6000 years old.
    BTW Sarah Palin and her whole family belong on Jerry Springer (you guys hear about the drug bust? LOL

    December 20, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. BB

    CNN – you all are downright disgusting.

    A "jab" – A "swipe" –

    You're nothing more than troublemaking gossips. Stop it. We don't need it. Your ratings will go further down in this continues.

    December 20, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. a scientist

    our president-elect is like rain after an 8 year drought;
    a scientist

    December 20, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  15. Bam

    It's only when the glaring rightness of our President-elect's statements come to light that we fully absorb the awful wrongness of the Bush administration's actions. Our leaders should do what is right because it is RIGHT, not because it is politically expedient. Thank God we are finally on the right track again as a country.

    December 20, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. Mitchell Robinson

    THE man got brain,heart,and balls.i LOVE it.

    December 20, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  17. John from Cincinnati

    It's amazing what can happen when one elects an intellectial person who can make decisions on brain power.

    This makes me bet on this president as one that can bring America back to the standing that it used to have.......

    December 20, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. Nevada Independant

    See what we get when we elect someone with a brain?

    December 20, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. Eric

    Yea, lets not let ideology twist facts, like the fact that the global temperature DROPPED last year. Keep up the global warming ideology Obama, you hypocrite.

    December 20, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. Carlos Campos

    Will Obama support/extend the current NASA mission to return to the moon and Mars? Or will NASA's budget be used to support other causes not related to outher space. Will Mike Griffin still be the administrator?

    We need leadership at NASA, not policitcal bueruecrats. The new administrator must have a well respected technical background in science and engineering. Please tell obama not to chose a former press secretary or professional horse-holder to lead the wonder people of NASA. They deserve better. Also, tell Obama not to outsource our space jobs to other nations just to make nice with the Europeans, chinese, ete.


    December 20, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  21. ERIKA

    This is exactly why I supported and continue supporting you. Thank you Mr. President Elect! This is exactly what this country needs, more science and education support (and no, I am not a scientist myself)

    December 20, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  22. cjstew

    it's about time we recieve the none watered down version of scientific studies. What we do about the information is where the tire hits the blacktop. We can only hope for better men with more than their own personal agenda at the wheel. Time to do what is right...not what is self serving.

    December 20, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. Emma

    Given his insistence on allegedly seeking knowledge and truth, it's that much more appalling that Barack Obama, having used our support to win this election, has betrayed the public trust by selecting a dismal nutbag like Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. This is the first truly stupid thing I have seen Obama do, and I find it extremely disturbing, especially as an indicator of what is to come in this administration. Rev. Warren is a hate-filled charlatan preacher and I still cannot believe that a highly intelligent (I thought!) man like Obama would fail to notice the horridness of this man.

    December 20, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  24. Paul

    Facts and evidence are twisted by every pollitical persuasion.

    Facts are twisted by animal rights and environmental advocates to promote policies when evidence does not support their viewpoints.

    Facts are twisted when reporting health and food issues by both sides.

    Statistics and studies are slanted for advertising purposes.

    Global warming is likely based MORE on solar activity than man-made pollution. Yet this fact which is becoming more appearent is conveniently ignored.

    Even a title on the pollitical section of CNN "Transition TO Power" is a twist on the American phrase Transition OF Power. Our system reliese on a TRANSITION OF POWER. Again someone TWISTS the truth and even a old american pollitical saying.

    December 20, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. FAYE, NV

    President elect Obama is doing an excellent job in selecting the best for each job. He will be a president truly looking out for the people and providing sound advice and counsel.

    P. E. Obama is Tony the Tiger... he grrrrrrrrrrreat!

    December 20, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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