McCain's Biggest Contributor Also Leading Science Advocate
To say that Republicans are anti-science has always been an extreme over-simplification, the type of characterization that carries weight at liberal blogs but doesn't really match up well with political reality. The facts are that science has always enjoyed strong bi-partisan support. Only on a few issues such as stem cell research, climate change, and evolution has bi-partisan consensus broken down, and in these cases Republican positions have been far from uniform.
A leading example of the diversity of views about science among leading Republicans is reported on today in the New York Times. As the article details, billionaire Robert Wood Johnson IV raised more than $200,000 for Bush in the last two elections, has been John McCain's leading fund raiser, and solicited friends in a personal effort to bankroll this year's GOP convention to the tune of $10 million dollars.
Yet Johnson is also a major fundraiser and advocate for biomedical research. He used his personal connections with former House Speaker Dennis Hastert to help pass $750 million in diabetes research funding and met personally with President Bush to advocate for the funding of embryonic stem cell research, a meeting that helped prevent Bush from completely banning funding in 2001.
The point is that to dismiss Republicans and the GOP as anti-science is not only inaccurate it also risks a strategic mistake. For every flat earth Sarah Palin or James Inhofe, there are also prominent Republicans who believe strongly in scientific research, its promise to grow the economy, and its ability to improve Americans' quality of life.
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Do you have a magnetic compass in your head?
A new study, led by psychologist Jean Twenge, points to the screen as the problem.
- In a new study, adolescents and young adults are experiencing increased rates of depression and suicide attempts.
- The data cover the years 2005–2017, tracking perfectly with the introduction of the iPhone and widespread dissemination of smartphones.
- Interestingly, the highest increase in depressive incidents was among individuals in the top income bracket.
On Thursday, New Zealand moved to ban an array of semi-automatic guns and firearms components following a mass shooting that killed 50 people.
- Gun control supporters are pointing to the ban as an example of swift, decisive action that the U.S. desperately needs.
- Others note the inherent differences between the two nations, arguing that it is a good thing that it is relatively hard to pass such legislation in such a short timeframe.
- The ban will surely shape future conversations about gun control in the U.S.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.