How Science Fared in the Election

A couple weeks ago, Claire Evans' "Universe" column focused on whether Tuesday night's victor would give the scientific community its collective groove back. Criticism has come from all quarters-from journalists to a Colorado Congresswoman from the other side of the aisle-attacking the Bush administration, and the Republican party in general, for distorting, blocking, and underfunding research critical to everything from reproductive rights to climate change. For those wondering what the election night's results mean for basic research going forward, the good folks at Nature have put together a little scorecard.Barack Obama is now on the hook for campaign promises such as his proposed $150 billion (over ten years) expenditure on renewable energy technology. The Democrats, the Nature piece notes, have a stronger emphasis on climate change policies, so controlling both houses of Congress could see global warming finally receive the governmental attention it deserves.The article also breaks down individual Congressional races and how they might impact research. For example, Democrat Tom Udall won a senate seat in New Mexico--replacing retiring Republican Pete Domenici, an ardent advocate for the state's Los Alamos National Labs. James Inhofe, an arch enemy of global warming, still has the support of his Oklahoma constituents. Also, several science-related initiatives were on state's ballots, including two that would affect stem cell research: Michigan voted to expand state funding for the controversial practice. Colorado citizens rejected a proposal to define a fertilized embryo as a "person."Photo from Flickr user afagen.