Day By Day

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More Nobel Sillyness

Yuval Levin notes yet another reason to be suspicious of scientific authority. Sixty-five winners of the Nobel Prize for Science have signed a petition supporting the candidacy of Barak Obama. Prominent among their reasons is that federal funding for science has been stagnant or declining during the Bush administration.

So say the world's top scientific experts and they must know what they are talking about..., right?

Well, actually they are full of horse hockey. Under Bush NIH funding is up by 41%; NSF funding is up 45%; and overall federal funding for R&D is up 56%.

Don't ever trust the opinion of scientists (or any other kind of expert for that matter) when they are speaking outside their very narrowly specialized field of expertise. Like all of us they are frequently naive and ill-informed. A physicist might know a lot about protons, but that doesn't mean he knows anything about public policy.

Read Levin's post here.