- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 20, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday said he will “once again put science at the top of our agenda” and announced a science and technology team that continues Mr. Obama’s vow to tackle global warming.

Mr. Obama said science and technology can help provide jobs, but said as president he will look to his team for more than that.

“Promoting science isn’t just about providing resources — it’s about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology,” he said in his weekly radio address. “It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient — especially when it’s inconvenient.”

He tapped John Holdren, a physicist from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, to be his science adviser; named Harold Varmus and Eric Lander to round out the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology; and said he will nominate Jane Lubchenco to be administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Mr. Obama signed off his radio address by wishing “happy holidays everybody.”

As a professor and head of various science groups, Mr. Holdren has called for boosted spending on science and for faster action to combat global warming.

“We are not talking anymore about what climate models say might happen in the future,” he told the British Broadcasting Corp. in 2006 “We are experiencing dangerous human disruption of the global climate and we’re going to experience more.”

Mr. Holdren has weighed in on other issues, including calling on the U.S. to issue a “no first use” policy for nuclear weapons and to take nuclear retaliation off the table as a response to chemical or biological attacks.

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