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Science and Obama
This image shows a microscopic face on a monitor of President-elect Barack Obama made using nanotechnology, and imaged using a scanning electron microscope are shown in Ann Arbor, Mich., Friday, Oct. 31, 2008. The face consists of millions of vertically-carbon nanotubes, grown by a high temperature chemical reaction. (AP Photo/John Hart)

An image of President-elect Barack Obama made using nanotechnology, and imaged using a scanning electron microscope are shown in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Oct. 31, 2008. The face consists of millions of vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes, grown by a high temperature chemical reaction. (AP Photo/John Hart)

For scientists across America, Barack Obama’s inauguration was a breath of fresh air — a pledge to “restore science,” Obama said, “to it’s rightful place.”

In week one, the president set a new green agenda for emissions standards and fuel efficiency for cars. Al Gore is on Capitol Hill today, urging action on climate change. And there are billions for research grants in the proposed stimulus package.

But solar panels and green cars are the easy part. There are still big, controversial decisions ahead on stem cell research, the Internet, space, and more.

This hour, On Point: Obama and American science.

You can join the conversation. Does science need to be “restored” to its “rightful place” in policy making? Is the President right to put the environment front and center?

Guests:

Joining us from New York is John Rennie, editor-in-chief of the Scientific American.

With us from Washington, DC is Francesca Grifo, senior scientist and director of the Scientific Integrity Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

And from Worcester, Mass., is Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer at Advanced Cell Technology, a biotech company that plans to ask the FDA to approve a study that uses embryonic stem cells to treat blindness.

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