- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Actor James Woods, a Hollywood hero for conservatives who’s been outspoken against President Obama and his policies, took the Comic-Con stage in New York to speak on what he saw as a more inspirational subject: America’s future ability to make great scientific leaps and bounds.

Mr. Woods was part of a panel discussion, “Futurescape,” to discuss his new Science Channel show on pioneering scientists and their world-changing discoveries. His presence on the panel isn’t surprising, he said, given his pre-Hollywood roots.

“Years ago, I was a student at MIT,” he said during the panel’s question-and-answer session, according to the Examiner. “I always loved science. And then I took a strange little detour for 45 years in my day job. And as I evolved and became a little older and wiser, I realized that in the world around me, the most important thing — that we could possibly be the same species … and I wondered if we could plan for a future over which we had some degree of control.”

He once worked on a movie, “Contact,” that tailed off a true-life story of Hitler’s conversation at the Olympics being transmitted to outer space, he said. And his appearance at Comic-Con was aimed at spreading the word about one of his first loves: science.

“I see you here with your enthusiasm and with your devotion to science,” he said to the audience. “Without your enthusiasm, governments spend money on stupid, stupid things. When I was the age of a lot of people in this room, we were putting a man on the moon. That was 50 years ago.”

Now, he said, possibly jabbing at Obamacare, “we’re struggling to design websites.” He called for a national “embrace” of science as a means of accomplishing some of America’s greatest dreams.

“Believe me, the future of America, of science, of the world, is built on dreams,” he said. “Don’t let anybody step on those dreams for any reason.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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