News of the WeekU.S. Science Policy

Obama Courts a Smitten Audience at the National Academy

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Science  01 May 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5927, pp. 576-577
DOI: 10.1126/science.324_576a

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Summary

Only once before has a newly elected president--John F. Kennedy in 1961--traveled the 10 blocks from the White House to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to explain his policies on science and innovation to the nation's most prestigious scientific organization. On Monday, President Barack Obama made the trip, and the symbolism was as important as the message: Many of the promises Obama made--to increase research spending, achieve energy independence, improve science education, and remove ideology from science decision-making--were not new, but having the president himself deliver them made all the difference.