09 March 2009

Hope After Ignorance

There's a lot going on at the moment, including bronchitis (thus the recent silence here — frog has my throat, not cat had my tongue). Today's main story, though, is simple: We have a resident of the White House who can actually spell "scientific method." We haven't had that since 1980 (Clinton was a lot better at lip service than at allowing science to inform, let alone influence, his policy preferences), and that was at best a secondary effect from an engineer's passing acquaintance with science.

What's really disturbing, though, is that the various distillations of this ten-minute ceremony have been so inconsistent. The BBC (embedding forbidden) chose to include the bit about the scientific process; the AP, however, chose to include the bit about the false dichotomy between science and values. That says far too much about "news values."