In a strongly worded letter, 76 of the most distinguished scientists in the country endorsed Barack Obama for president. While praising Obama's "emphasis during the campaign on the power of science and technology to enhance our nation's competitiveness," the laureates blasted the Bush administration for its disdain for science:
During the administration of George W. Bush, vital parts of our country's scientific enterprise have been damaged by stagnant or declining federal support. The government's scientific advisory process has been distorted by political considerations. As a result, our once dominant position in the scientific world has been shaken and our prosperity has been placed at risk. We have lost time critical for the development of new ways to provide energy, treat disease, reverse climate change, strengthen our security, and improve our economy.
Among those signing the letter are all three of the Americans who won science prizes in 2008: Martin Chalfie of Columbia University and Roger Tsien of the University of California at San Diego, who shared the prize in chemistry, and Yoichiro Nambu, of the University of Chicago, who won the prize in physics. Chalfie has recorded a YouTube video of his endorsement as well.
While the letter that the Nobel laureates signed does not actually mention John McCain or Sarah Palin, the chemists, physicists and physiologists can't have been impressed by the GOP candidates' recent scoffing on the campaign trail at a major grizzly bear study and important fruit fly research.